I love my kids with every fiber of my being. They are the light of my life, a reason to live, and fill my heart with so much joy I can’t handle it sometimes. BUT, the days are long, I get in a bad mood, they get in a bad mood—we’re not perfect. So, ignore all the advice you’ve been given about why screen time is the devil—and keep these 10 reasons in mind when you ask yourself, should I put on “Lego Batman?”
It eases sibling tension. I have three boys, five-year-old twins and an almost two-year-old. There are fights and arguments on the hour every hour. But the minute they see that glow of the TV, it gets quiet.
It’s educational. Feel guilty about how much screen time they’ve already had today? No worries. Turn on some PBS kids and call it a day. Want to work with them on words, “Word Girl” is there. How about sharing? Put on some “Daniel Tiger,” but I do recommend leaving the room unless you want those damn songs in your head for the next week.
You need to go to the bathroom/shower/clip your toenails. Whatever habit you would typically do by yourself, we all know that’s out the window if you’re home alone—even if your significant other is home. Kids have a gravitational pull to their mother. Hit power on that remote and get to clipping.
You need to make a phone call or text. Because really, how much do we really talk on the phone nowadays? But, make sure your kids don’t see you on the phone because that could have an adverse effect. Distract with the TV and slowly back into another room.
You need to prepare anything. A meal, snack, a glass of wine—whatever it may be. We all know the minute it looks like you’re about to do something that will take your attention, kids ain’t having it. Before you know it, dinner will be made with no fighting or tugging on your pant leg.
Another kid or you are tired or sick. I don’t know how many times TV has saved me from sleepless nights with an infant or dealing with a sick kid and I was home alone. One time, pre-Netflix, I was so sick I could barely move. Husband was at work, and I had two episodes of Daniel Tiger recorded. We watched them for about four hours straight. Ain’t no shame in my game.
You’re about to lose it. Three boys. That’s all I have to say. As a woman, I don’t understand the constant need for touching and pushing and wrestling. I don’t get it, but I’m guessing I never will. So, to prevent every cuss word from flying out of my mouth about keeping your *@#$ hands to yourself, I’ll pick up that remote and walk away.
It’s raining/snowing/120 degrees outside. Yes, play games. Yes, read. Yes, encourage imagination. Yes, turn on some Netflix when that’s run its course for the day and you see the worst about to strike.
Just because you need a mental break. No explanation needed.
Because the internet can suck it. Yeah, and I’m part of it. Too many articles about what you should and shouldn’t do. So many extreme opinions on both sides that it scares you from doing anything. TV will not make your child an angry, anti-social human if you use common sense and your best judgment. Which we’re all capable of, right?
So, cheers to TVs everywhere and the silence they bring to your house, if even for a few minutes a day.
Co-founder, Witty & Wordy. A marketing and communications professional, mom of three boys, lover of the University of Kansas, wine, laughing and my family. Misses the 90s.