Raising Davis: Do our kids watch too much TV?

By Meghan Bradley on August 01, 2012
Davis could spend all day going from Wizards of Waverly Place to video games and then ask to borrow my iPad for another run at Angry Birds or Cut the Rope. In our house, we call all of it “screen time”.

From the time he was wee, the TV screen mesmerized him. It is the only thing that he can stay focused on for long periods of time. He wiggles around when we sit to do homework or read a book. He loves to dance and sing. When we are at a park or outside playing he is non-stop action. But when the TV is on, this high energy boy looks like he has been sedated as he becomes transfixed. It’s one of the reasons I like watching TV with Davis – because he slows down enough for me to steal my cuddles!

We keep the screen time to under two hours a day during the week, but weekends are another story. If the weather isn’t great and there are plenty of things on the “to do” list at home, screens are harder to manage.

He has figured out that if he gets up early, he can slip downstairs, turn on the TV and settle in for some morning cartoons. Paul and I usually find him in a sea of plush animals and blankets watching cartoons by the time we make it downstairs. We figure he’s watched about 30 minutes before we even open our eyes. By the time we eat, shower and get rolling for the day, he has added another 30 minutes or so, or 50 percent of his screen time.

At some point in the weekend, he will play at least another hour of video games. The latest thing for him is Skylanders. If you have a young boy, you know this addictive game only too well. He also reads a website from school that will add another 30 minutes of screen time, even though it’s for school. The weekend has now added up to more than three hours a day of screen time.

Many would argue that is way too much time, but if we loosen the reigns, he could easily double it. The truth is, if we were less flexible, we wouldn’t get as much done around the house and Davis would run us ragged. It seems to work for us for now and we are thankful that the content of the TV and video games is harmless and age-appropriate. I know as he gets older, Scooby Doo won’t cut it and this will be a whole other article.

Meghan Bradley is a full-time sales rep and mother of Davis, 6, and step-mother to Madison and Mackenzy, 15

To read more of Meghan’s Mommy Diaries, visit raisingdavis.com or follow her on Twitter @raisingdavis.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, August/September 2012.

By Meghan Bradley| August 01, 2012

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