Ruh-rohhh, Zoey lost screen time and here’s what happened

Zoey lost her screen time for a week. A week!! It’s kind of a long story, but basically she was just acting like Little Miss Poopypants and I told her if she didn’t knock it off that I’d take away screen time, and she must have confused me with a nice mom because instead of shaping up, she just amped up her a-holey behavior. Say adios to your screen time, kiddo.

And two seconds later I’m like shit, why did I do that? It’s like I’m punishing myself too because now she’s constantly in my face saying “I’m bored” and “What can I do?” Ummmm, you can not act like douchenugget next time and you’ll still have your screen time.

ME: Play with your dolls, play a game, color a picture, make up a dance routine, read a book, play with Legos, get a snack, clean up your room, play with your guinea pigs…

ZOEY: I did all that already.

ME: Want to paint a still life?

ZOEY: A what?

ME: A still life. I’ll set up a little scene and you can paint it.

She was all about it. So I plopped down a thing of flowers, a bird sculpture, and three mandarin oranges, and she went to work. For like an hour!!

It was awesome. Until she was done and had nothing to do again. I was tempted to let her have her screentime back but nope nope nope, I am not backing down this time.

Because here’s the thing. Do I believe in screen time? F yeah. If I didn’t use iPads and TV and YouTube Kids, I would have spent $23,725 on babysitters. I shit you not, I just did the math. Well, my calculator did.

But as much as I LOVVVVE screen time, I hate to admit it but taking away screen time can be awesome. Because when you push the off button, your kids can come up with some totally badass shit.

Like this thing she made yesterday.I don’t know WTF it is and we can’t close the door because it’s attached to the doorknob and I’m kind of wondering when we can take it down, but deep down inside I know it’s good for her. Because when this happens…

This happens…

A crapload of imagination and creativity and building and engineering and all sorts of other awesome things her brain can do. And she transforms from Little Miss Poopypants back into a totally kickass girl again.

If she keeps being good on Friday she’ll get screen time back. But I can’t wait for her to lose it again so I can see what she comes up with next. Nahhh, that’s bullshit. Next time I’m taking away dessert.

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There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Stacy Radke at 12:38 pm

    Parenting is knowing that everytime we punish our kids, we are also punishing ourselves, and still doing it anyway because we know we don’t want to raise assholes like Trump.
    At least this is what I tell myself whenever I take my 2yo tablet away. Lol
    Thank you for being a great example and comrade!

  2. Stephanie at 1:27 pm

    I’m so glad I subscribed to your blog posts! I was never getting them through Facebook! Thanks for being my sanity in this crazy parenting journey!

  3. Eliana Garry at 2:29 pm

    Awesome!! Also, look up Imaginormous. It is a contest for kids ages 5-12 to write a story. If they win, there are five different prizes. They turn the winning stories into either an ebook, a play, a toy, a candy, or a minecraft world. They can enter as many times as long as each one is under 100 words. Every time my son has told me he was bored in the last couple days, I have told him to work on his story and he has!!

  4. KJ at 3:36 pm

    Even though it’s hard to take away screen time because it’s more work for us it needs to happen! Zoey did some amazing awesome s**t that she wouldn’t have normally done with a screen in her face. Our kids need to play and create more. When they play and create they become better problem solvers! There is a crap ton of research lately that shows all the negative effects of screen time. Does that mean I am going to be the “perfect parent” that never does screen time and plays 24/7 with my kid so she’s not bored??? Hell naw! My daughter is almost 3 and while she doesn’t get screen time yet she definitely gets way too much tv time, which I do need to get better about. It’s all about balance and doing the best we can for our kids.

  5. Jennifer Reykjalin at 6:21 pm

    I know the feeling.. I took away my son’s screen time for a whole MONTH because he got in trouble at school for throwing a ball at kids. It worked out fine during the week but the weekends were the hardest!! He learned his lesson because he was counting down the day till he got it back. But he knows, if anything happens again it’s gone!!
    Great job! This whole being a mom is hard at every stage of the game!!!

  6. Marsha todras at 8:37 pm

    I have no kids but I’m the aunt that spoils them rotten in a good way. I’m the one who does things with them that their parents don’t do but I still discipline them I love reading your posts makes me feel I’m on the right Route to helping my sisters and brothers in law to bring up responsible and creative adults. They’re 28 and 29 now and I can’t help but feel so proud have been a part of making them who they are without ever going against their parents. It’s been a great ride with more to come. Parenting never ends you guys, just changes. Keep em coming!

  7. Sam at 9:31 pm

    Based on all the stuff she did I’m actually surprised you’re going to give the device back? Boredom is the genisis of creativity.

  8. 🌺Terry 🌈 Parker at 3:56 pm

    Even though I don’t have kids, I’m an Auntie… so I thoroughly enjoy your post and can still relate.

  9. breanna mchenry at 9:01 pm

    I don’t wanna be THAT person but,the guinea pig cage is wayyyyyyyy too small! I know that you probably didnt know that but i’m looking our for the guinea pigs!

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