We recently made the mistake of allowing our four-year old daughter to watch the new Kids YouTube app early in the morning. The app had just been released and my wife thought it was something she would like.
She was right. Now every morning she wakes up, runs into our room, jumps on our bed and asks, “Daddy, can I watch a show on Mommy’s iPad?”
So damn sweet. I tell her no pretty much every day. We don’t like the kids spending too much time looking at their screens. Or our screens for that matter. So we definitely don’t want her watching shows on the iPad at 7 in the morning.
But how bad is it? She isn’t watching something that going to rot her brain. She’s watching Paw Patrol for Christ’s sake! As I write this (it’s 706 AM) she is watching an episode where Chase feels unappreciated and left the team. Now the other pups are searching for him so they can make him know how important he is and how much they like him.
It’s a great message for her and most likely she won’t be watching too much tv later today so I think a few shows in the morning are ok.
But we can’t do this everyday. Fighting with a four year old is a terrible way to start your day. And we can’t give in to her because she is whining when we say no.
So here is what I suggest if you are struggling with this same issue. Remember, the only reason she wants to watch a show early in the morning is because you allowed it. You showed her the app or you turned the tv on for her.
Tomorrow morning, have a book ready. Make it her favorite book. In fact, have two ready. When she comes walking into your room and asks to watch tv, whip out the book and ask her if she wants to read it with you.
You want to start a new habit. She may resist at first but you must be persistent! Soon enough she will wake you up and ask for you to read a book. This will call for more energy from you, the parent. But it will be worth it.
What if it sticks? What if years from now she wakes up every morning and reads? When she gets to be older this could be a very valuable lesson.
Do you have this same issue? How much tv is too much tv? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
Have a great day.
Let’s Empower Our Kids