Screen time versus peace and quiet

Can they get any closer?

Can they get any closer?

I spend a  lot of time in my house completely conflicted, you see, I like a bit of peace, my own space. I enjoy quiet activities like sewing and knitting. I don’t enjoy playing games with children and constantly entertaining them.

I think the novelty wore off about five years ago. This is one of the problems when you have three children; by the time you get to number 3 you just cant really be bothered and they sort of bring themselves up albeit a bit feral.

My current dilemma is over the use of television. When I was little we simply didn’t have this much television available, I was forced to read books or play. I wouldn’t have got into the habit of requiring parental help for everything in the first place.

We have a bit of an issue where the children seem to be incapable of doing anything without me, other than watching TV. ‘Look mummy! I’m playing with my toys!’ Apparently I even have to sit and watch as they play, if I don’t there are consequences, I wont be able to do anything else.

A few years ago I became very strict about screen time and banned TV, this just drove me around the bend after the initial honeymoon period when the kids were good with it. After a couple of months, I found it a bit like personal torture, rather than something which encouraged the children to read, they read, but then they had to read to me or recount the entire book. WHO has these children that sit nicely and play alone? I think they only exist on Instagram.

I’ve tried to make this reliance on TV (for the sake of my sanity) into something I can justify on education grounds. Numberjacks, anything BBC wildlife (Netflix is great for this), any ‘suitable’ historic documentary, and best of all Horrible Histories are all allowed. That relives the guilt a little, not much I must admit.

Of course they are allowed a bit of fun stuff, like Thunderbirds (above picture) and kids Netflix but only in the same way that we watch TV, not for the sake of watching if I can help it!

I’ve come up with a solution, this is a plea to the BBC/ Netflix- for the sake of my sanity please replace brainless kids TV with The National Curriculum channel. That way children will find themselves inadvertently learning for the SATS, parents wont feel guilty and overworked teachers will have a bit of a helping hand.

Do you enjoy your peace and quiet and just need a bit of space from parenting? If so how do you entertain the children without those pangs of guilt about destroying their brains in the process?

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