I don't think it's a big secret that Addie loves her movies. It's just how she's been since we started watching "Baby Signing Time" and it evolved from there. Weirdly enough, before I let her watch those shows, I read a book on how TV effects children and basically vowed that my kids wouldn't be watching shows until they were at least three. Right. Well that didn't work because I found out how easy it was to have an electronic babysitter while you are making dinner, cleaning bathrooms, or just need a break. The movies were an easy option, she loved them, I liked watching some too, and it was an easy fix for most things and tantrums. Win for everyone, right?
Well this week I'd been thinking about when we'd gone to CA and how we hadn't watched as much TV and how nicely she'd played and how interesting it was that she was a NORMAL KID. As weird as this sounds, I think Addie had become an addict to the TV. I've been noticing for awhile how she hardly read book, or played (like she used to) and that all she wanted to do was watch TV the second she woke up, ate meals, returned home, went down for naps, etc. It was becoming ridiculous And as much as I'd tried to say no- her tantrums were not enjoyable, and I'm ashamed to say I gave in a lot because I just didn't want to put up with it.
So this week I decided enough was enough. She didn't need to watch a show she needed to be a normal kid! So Monday I just decided I was going to drastically reduce the amount of TV she watched. Talk about withdrawals! The first 3 days or so were terrible all she did was whine, cry, scream and beg to watch something. I really wondered if it was worth all the effort and annoyance of it all. But I tried to keep us busy and out doing things and going places so we weren't at home and available for watching movies. It was worth it! Two days this week she didn't watch a single bit of anything (which is HUGE) and I've only let her watch something once (man I'm such a bad parent!) on the other days.
I could have never predicted the results......She has been a completely different child!! Hardly any tantrums or fits (besides those initial few days) and NONE on the days where she watched nothing. She is a better listener, more agreeable, plays much better with Dallin, less irritable, happy, plays willingly, and is frankly so much more fun to be around! I couldn't believe it! Granted, it's been about 3 days of this, so maybe it won't last- but I'll take it! She still asks to watch shows a lot, but I just tell her not now, maybe later (which I feel bad for keep blowing off her questions like that) and mostly she is okay with it. I try and engage her in something else if she starts getting upset about not getting her way. I came to the realization that it is so much easier to say no and get a minorly annoyed response, than a full blown tantrum because she watched a movie and wants more and is then grouchy the remainder of the day.
Pretty interesting, and so far we've had so much good come from avoiding TV that I am all fired up and almost ready to throw the screen into storage! haha Though don't know if that would be such a good idea with it being football season and all ;-)