Our four and five year olds don’t get a lot of screen time at this point in their lives. We have chosen to not yet implement a “Maximum Screen Time Per Day” rule yet, because then they would insist on using their screen time every day, and they often go days at a time without watching anything.
I’m not saying that to show that we’re better than anyone else – more to balance out what I’m about to say.
I firmly believe in using the TV as a babysitter, especially when it means more sleep for the grownups in the house. It’s cheap, it’s memorizing, and it doesn’t require pick up or drop off!
In the wee hours of Boxing Day morning, while my husband was snoring in bed, I brought our 5 year old downstairs and, for the first time ever, initiated him into the world of remote control usage. Mommy has previously picked out everything they’ve watched, because when they have no choice, there’s just a lot less arguing between the siblings. However. I was heading out for a few hours of shopping and my husband needed his holiday beauty sleep, so I showed Hendrik how to navigate the world of Netflix.
He was absolutely beaming with pride as he turned on our tv, navigated to Netflix and clicked on his user profile, then selected and played Dinotrux. I poured some cereal into a bowl for him and his sister, and I headed out into the darkness that only Boxing Day shopping can drag me into.
Three hours later I walked back through the door laden with bags to find the house still standing, my husband still snoring in bed, and the children in the exact same position on the couch that I had left them in. Hendrik proudly reported that they had watched Dinotrux, Sid the Science Kid, PAW Patrol, Rescue Bots, Turbo FAST, and Puffin Rock while I was out.
And, in a very generous Holiday Spirit, Netflix has offered to babysit YOUR children on New Year’s Day! We all know that keeping kids up late does not equal kids sleeping in the next day – but let’s be honest – we could all use an extra hour or two of sleep by this point in the holidays – let alone after a night of crazy partying-in the New Year. (And by that, I mean getting together with another few couples, having a glass of wine, and playing Catch Phrase. Here’s to Parenthood!)
Print off this door hanger, fill in how many episodes the kids are allowed to watch, and then hang it on your door. Picture those little hands reaching up to open the door knob, pausing to read the sign, and then racing down to the TV for a New Year’s Day treat.
Happy New Year, friends! May your nights be restful and your mornings be quiet.
Disclaimer: We’re proud members of the Netflix Canada StreamTeam and we do receive some cool perks because of that. However, all of our thoughts and opinions are our own, and we’ve been strong supporters of the Netflix streaming service since they came to Canada many moons ago!