We aim to limit screens in our home as much as possible. We believe in honouring the reverence of a child and the early years as much as we can. We believe their innate desire to play, play, connect, and play some more is incredibly important.
I understand for some kids a little screen time can actually be beneficial (I met a mom and her son was on the spectrum and for him, it’s actually relaxing and calming).
I believe in always trusting your mama intuition and what signs you’re kids are giving you, and I teach this in my awakened mama course. I believe their little souls are always speaking to us.
When we did allow our youngest to watch tv, we found she was irritable, got frustrated easily and had the odd meltdown/temper tantrum. When we cut them out…. all of that disappeared. It was if she was saying (without saying it) that she needed more time in nature, more connection with mum and dad, more creative ideas on our behalf, and more play.
Here’s what we do, instead of adding in screens…. hopefully you find a tip or two that works for your family.
- FUN ACTIVITIES -
Jump in puddles outside and make it fun “Let’s go jump in puddles!”
Collect rocks from the yard or a local park and paint them
Save a cardboard box from a recent amazon order (ha!) and paint it, colour on it or have them put their dolls/stuffies inside… or make it an “airplane” or something creative. Get creative and fun yourself!
Make a fort with blankets
Set up a play area outside with sand, rocks, a mini pool…
Go for a walk 1x day or to the park and make this part of your routine, leave your cell at home so you as the parent are not distracted
Collect items of different shapes or colours and place them in a bucket or bin
Make a garden together and grow your own food - attend to your garden 1-2x week together “Let’s go YY, we’re going to play/fix up the garden!”
Have a set “baking day.” On Fridays, I bake with my toddler (You could also make fermented veggies from old veg in the fridge each week and make it super healthy for the entire family!)
The ideas are endless - what do you do? Comment below this blog
Give the kids an extra special bath, once a week. We do mini detox baths, here’s my recipe. They come to expect it 1x/ week and during the day will help me make a homemade bubble bath. I’ll tell them “It’s time to make our bubble bath again!”
- BOUNDARIES THAT MAKE IT WORK -
If you’re married or have a partner, have open and clear communication around this and what your boundary or rule is so you can both stick to it
Every night (or early morning) my husband and I plan out our day. This is loose obviously as things can change but we mostly stick to it. It’s quick and effective. For example, we’ll say from this time to this time we’re going to do this… then we’ll do this…. etc etc
We only allow screens/tv if we’re away at a family function and they are just cooked and over stimulated and need some down time after a full day playing…. or at nighttime after a full day playing outside! We only do this 1-2x / week OR we’ll watch a family movie together
We don’t give the kids their own screens/phones and very likely never will until they are teenagers but there still will be rules and boundaries…. the only screen in our home is my laptop and desktop for work purposes, we don’t have iPads and never will
Our kids will also attend a school that has a zero screen policy (Waldorf), this is super important to us. I wrote a blog on our school choice here (coming soon) and included what we would do if we didn’t have the budget to make Waldorf work.
If they are asking for screens, the answer is “No". If a meltdown ensues I practice Janet Landsbury’s technique which is to hold the space for them to cry (without casting shame or judgement) while also standing firm to the boundary. For example, something I would say would be “It’s ok to be upset but the answer is no.” Then I create a safe space for them to feel and I make sure I’m doing my best to not react.
Hopefully that helps.