Friday, April 13, 2012

The Devil in the Screen

Have you seen him? He's there. I keep trying to get a glimpse of him, but I never seem to catch him. Well, not until his damage is done, that is.

It all starts innocently enough. Mama has dishes and laundry to do, the boys beg for a movie or some such passive, screen- oriented entertainment, and I cave. That's when he gets us. That sneaky devil oozes out through the flickering images in front of my children's eyes and turns them into little demons who cannot manage their behavior, speech, or emotions. They can't be nice and they can't find anything constructive to do with themselves for the remainder of the day.

Darn that devil.

I'm not really serious. I mean, I don't really think that the devil resides within my television. I do, however, notice a marked difference in my kids after they've had any amount of screen- type entertainment. They do become whiny, argumentative, unimaginative, and...well...kind of mean! I notice this pattern the most when they have watched anything with any form of violence or aggression, although not only when they have done so. It is the norm for them to finish a movie and then walk around, allowing the walls to hold them up while saying, "I have nothing to do!"

This week I decided to change their alloted 'screen time' to the evening. The amount of screen time didn't change, but the time of day when they could use it did. It was a bit awkward at first, but then this beautiful thing happened: they played. They played creatively and physically and intensely and, for the most part, kindly. They played so deeply that they- and I- forgot about 'screen time' several of those days. Not that we suddenly had some utopia of creative sibling playtime, but we did have something far better than whiny, bored, irritated children.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. If you spot the devil in your screen, leave me a little comment below. Better yet, grab him and throw him right out of your house.

hugs and love,

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean!!! It doesn't happen with our regular screen time, or computer learning, but when Austin watches extended superhero madness on youtube. :/