Monday night I posted on my personal Facebook page about how we told the kids they couldn’t watch TV that night, so instead, they asked to clean the kitchen. Well, this ended up turning into a “limited TV” week which has now turned into the new norm in our house.
A little background…
Sunday night our kids were horrible. They were grouchy, which made my husband and me grouchy, which just made them grouchier and you get the idea. Sadly, this cycle seemed to be happening more and more lately! After the kids finally went to bed my husband and I sat down to figure out what the problem was and how we could fix it. We both agreed the kids were driving us nuts! They were slowly turning into lazy, rude little brats! Harsh I know, but it’s true! I was frustrated about all the time I spend cleaning up after them without any help or even a thank you. My husband was annoyed they had so many new toys for Christmas and they hardly played with any of them. All they wanted to do was watch TV. That’s when we realized what the problem was: Too much TV.
We needed a “re-set”
We had fallen into a terrible routine of a little TV when the kids came home from school so they could “relax”. Since it’s been so cold outside, it often turned into a little more TV time. Then after dinner we often found ourselves looking at the clock and noticing it was still 3 hours to bedtime, so we’d watch a movie together. We were spending the majority of our quality family time in front of the TV! We needed a reset. That Sunday we decided that the next day they could watch TV in the morning, but no TV or any kind of electronics afterschool.
How did Monday go?
Monday after school they complained a little about not being able to watch TV but they quickly got busy playing with toys. All 3 kids played happily together!!! Later that evening, they saw me cleaning the kitchen at asked if they could help. Well, they ended up cleaning all the appliances, counters and the floors! AND they had fun cleaning!!! We decided they could earn 10 cents per job which motivated them to keep doing more.
Monday night we were so pleased with the results of limited TV we decided to make it “limited TV week”.
How was the rest of the week??
On Tuesday we told them there would be no TV after school the rest of the week. Surprisingly they didn’t seem to care. They did ask if they could watch TV on the weekend though!
Tuesday night we almost caved in and let them watch a movie. Dinner was over at 6 and all three kids were tired and grouchy. I was also tired and simply didn’t feel like playing. Instead of TV we decided to go on a jammie ride. The kids got into their pjs, and we drove up to the local ski resort to watch people ski and snowboard. This was a simple and free way to entertain them without TV!!
Wednesday was a snow day, which I had decided that if the kids asked for TV I’d let them watch. Well, they totally surprised me and never asked. Instead, they played out in the snow most of the day and in the evening we read books and I gave my son a haircut.
During the week the kids also helped out round the house so much more than usual. I discovered they are capable of doing so many more chores than I thought. My 6 year old can load the dishwasher and my 2 youngest can help sort socks. (It was a bit of a disaster at first, but they eventually got it done!). They can also sweep, clean out under the sofa, sort laundry, switch the laundry between the washer and dryer, dust, and sweep! The craziest thing is I never asked them to do any of these things! We kept up the deal of 10 cents per chore and the loved it!
The new family rule:
We have decided from now on, Monday through Thursday there is no TV or video games in the afternoon & evenings. They are still allowed to watch their usual 30 minutes in the mornings. Friday nights we’ll continue our usual pizza and a movie, and Sunday’s we always watch the Brady Bunch and Funny videos. The rest of Friday-Sunday we’ll just try to keep the amount of TV limited.
Is our house happier?
Maybe? The kids still fought with each other probably as much as usual, BUT the time between the fighting was spent playing with each other vs. staring at a tv or phone. The house is definitely cleaner which makes me happy. Overall the week seemed calmer and I felt like we spent so much more quality time together. I’m excited for our new norm!!