Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mom Guilt

I am suffering from really bad mom guilt recently. I let my kids watch way too much T.V. and play video games too long.

They have to earn video game time by earning tokens for doing their daily routines and their chores. Each token is worth 15 minutes of video game time and they are supposed to be limited to thirty minutes per school day and one hour on weekends. If they play a game together, they can combine their time and therefore play longer. However, I'm so exhausted by my life right now (my baby does not sleep all night ever and is up fussing sometimes for hours at a time) that I often let them play longer than their time slot, often all afternoon as long as the homework is done.

I really feel strongly that video games are not the best thing for their developing brains. But it's cold outside and I'm exhausted and it keeps them happy and busy.

Same with TV. I have two preschoolers. I try to not have the TV on during the day, but again, I'm so tired and if I can get the baby to nap, on rare occasions, the TV saves me by giving my kids something to do to keep them quiet while the baby naps and allows me to snooze a little too.

I feel like I'm squandering away the lives of my little ones by letting them use these devices so frequently and for such long periods of time. Last Friday, I let my 5-year-old play the Wii for THREE hours while the older kids were at school. I was too tired to stop him and it was too easy to just let him keep playing.

And now that I've let these things take over, when I tell my kids no, they cry because they're bored and "there's nothing else to do, Mom!" So now I've done to myself what I've always thought could be easily avoided by limiting video games and TV. I've made my kids bored when they don't have these things to do.

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