There are exactly two instances where the remote is “mine” and I gain control of the television. One is late in the evening when everyone else has gone to sleep and I take an hour or two to zone out in front of the tube. The other is when my kids have been acting like… well the three and five year old kids that they are… but a little on the extra side of drive mom nuts. And one of the best consequences my husband and I have found for when our children have poor behavior is the loss of screens.
Okay, full disclosure, my kids get a lot of screen time. Between tablets, video games, occasionally my husband’s or my phone, and television they get a lot of exposure to the blue light glow. They pretty much control what is on the television from the time they wake up until my husband comes home from work. They’re even allowed a video at bedtime, in their bedroom. This is what works for our family to provide my husband and me each a little bit of down time or the space to do things like cook meals or take care of a little laundry.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they are fully addicted to screens; I mean there are no screens allowed in the playroom (yet) or outside and they spend a lot of time in both places each day. But, their screen time is definitely important to them. It is so important to them that taking it away makes for the most effective consequence for the times when they have poor behavior.
However, I find comfort in that blue glow and the background noise provided by having the television on. It somehow dampens the echo of noises that bounce off all the hard surfaces in my home. And the light isn’t quite as glaring as the bright LEDs or the sun that burns through the windows. So, turning the television off as a consequence when the kids make poor decisions isn’t really an option for this mama.
I prefer to not have to suffer the consequences with my children. So, they lose their tablets, video games, and control of the television. Because when they act up, the remote becomes mine and I get to finally check out one of the many movies, shows, or documentaries from my streaming service lists.
Or, because I’m Mom (relax isn’t in my vocabulary) and that bathroom isn’t going to scrub itself, I turn on some 90’s rock and start cleaning. Maybe in a few years the kids will be old enough to be handed a bucket of cleaning supplies when they lose screen privileges. Then maybe I will sit and veg out during the day instead of staying up way past my bedtime to binge watch a show.