When the weather turns bad, the screen time gets out of control in our household. Yesterday we had the type of weather that kept us indoors for most of the day. So what would have been kayaking on the lake, turned into movie in the morning, computer games in the mid-afternoon, and tv shows after dinner. If I’m honest, I bet yesterday was about 5-7 hours of screen time easy peasy. I’m not sure about you but my motivation to get outside when the weather is gray, rainy, or cold is almost completely sapped. If the kids put up any fight (and sometimes even if they don’t), it is so easy for me to open up the computer and fall into a youtube spiral of nothingness. So how do we prevent this coming into fall and winter?
There is Nothing you can do about the Weather
Well I think for starters, you just accept that it’s going to be difficult. If you live in an area where school is going to be remote, then during the day your kids will be doing something that isn’t tv, ipad, or video games. The con with teaching remotely is that most of that teaching will be through a computer or an ipad. I’m pretty sure screen time, good and bad, is going to approach astronomical levels of 10+ hours a day for grade school kids
After I was done feeling sorry for myself, and berating myself for the amount of screen time I let my kids have the other day, I went back to the drawing board. The good thing about bad weather is everyone in your immediate vicinity is going through the same weather so you don’t feel unique in your situation. Here is a pro tip to not feeling horrible as a parent:
Tips to Not Feeling Horrible as a Parent
- Stop Instagram/Facebook – Not completely, just unfollow all the image-crafting parents that somehow are always on vacation, going to restaurants, are at the beach, and also are doing “artsy crafts” all the time. I can’t tell you how bad this is for your mental health (I know this first hand). I stopped following people that do this all the time on my instagram, and my life instantly got more happier and less anxiety filled. Try it, you might just get happier.
- Write What you did with the kids this week – This has always been helpful for me. Understanding that over the past week you went hiking, made dinner together, played a board game, and watched a movie together, will make you grateful and proud. Don’t sweat that you weren’t perfect all week everyday of the week.
- Talk to other Parents about their daily routines – Hmm, not all parents, because I don’t trust all parents to tell the truth. I talk to the parents that I trust to give me the real on their days. You will know if they are honest if they say things like, my kid watched the ipad all day, or my kid played video games for 2 hours straight. If they say things like, the kids don’t really have much screen time each day, you can pretty much guarantee they are image-crafting you. You will just feel horrible talking to them, and want is the point of that. Nothing.
That’s a wrap in the upcoming seasons!