Friday, April 22, 2016
For the Love of Screen Time
This post is sponsored by Hulu.
I’ve met some moms in my day who are totally anti-screen time. Maybe you’ve met them, too. Maybe you are one of them!
My theory on motherhood goes something like, “If that works for you, great.” This applies nicely to a lot of mothering topics, and applies well to the families I’ve known who don’t allow much or any TV watching, movie nights, tablet time, etc. If that works for you, great.
But in our house, the kids love their screen time. I think I might love their screen time even more. And here are a few reasons why.
The quiet. I am sorry to say that these sweet angels don’t have the most angelic behavior. It’s a rare day when I don’t have to break up multiple fights, negotiate toy swaps, and convince them that they ought to still be friends after one has wounded the other (whether physically or emotionally). But when these two are placed in front of one of their favorite shows? It is so peaceful. So quiet. I bask in the absence of whining and crying and arguing and feel rejuvenated to handle another round of parenting when their show ends.
The influence of great shows. Sometimes I turn on the TV and feel bleak about the world. There’s so much garbage out there. But at the other end of the spectrum, there are shows that I love to let my kids watch, because they inspire their curiosity, or teach them kindness, or expose them to new ideas or places or people. I’m selective with the shows my kids are allowed to watch, and our favorite for years has been Curious George. I love that after watching George, my kids have exciting new thoughts and ideas, and they’ve learned new things. I can’t tell you how many times Forrest has told me something interesting he’s learned, and when I ask him where he heard it, the answer is Curious George. My kids are obsessed with that little monkey, which is fine by me, since it’s a show I’m happy to let them watch!
Curious George is now streaming only on Hulu, so you can easily watch all 9 seasons (that’s more than 100 episodes!) as well as the animated film Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, exclusively on Hulu. We have had a Hulu subscription for quite a while, so I love the convenience and easy accessibility.
Screen time as a reward. I’m not above using a little bribery to squeeze good behavior out of my kids, and offering screen time is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to reward the kids. Their all-time favorite treat for good behavior is being allowed to stay up 15 minutes past bedtime to watch a show, and knowing that this reward is waiting for them has helped us survive many grocery trips and boring errands.
Getting stuff done time. Every day when Jeff gets home from work, he’ll list off all the things he accomplished that day, then asks me what I did. And I reply with an embarrassing average of 3 tasks I’ve completed (and sometimes those tasks are as simple as “I fed the kids lunch”), because it’s nearly impossible to get anything done when I’m constantly being interrupted to fetch snacks or referee arguments or change diapers. I’m amazed at how much stuff I can get done when the kids stay put on the couch for a few episodes of a show. I love being able to complete a chore uninterrupted, or work on dinner without having to stop every few seconds to help someone. I feel better about my day when I’ve ticked a few items off the to-do list, and the kids’ screen time helps me get important things done.
All 9 seasons of Curious George, as well as the animated film Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, are now streaming only on Hulu. As with all kids programming on Hulu, Curious George streams commercial-free.