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Childhood Magic

We are a weird family.  Our kids watch little to no TV.  Seriously, in the last 3 months, they have probably only watched 5 hours of TV total.  I don't count it or anything, but that would be my guess.

The average toddler watches 2 hours a day.  That is 730 hours a year!  For those that don't want to do the math, I had the calculator do it for you: 30.4 days.  The average toddler spends 30 FULL DAYS, so probably close to 60 days if you only count waking hours, a year watching television.

Our kids also don't own any toys with batteries.  Well we own toys that TAKE batteries, but we take the batteries out before we give them to the kids.  They are not allowed to play on our phones, or touch the computers.  Our kids are basically growing up in the dark ages.

Why are we such weirdos?  Well partly because we find battery operated toys obnoxious, the kids do a perfectly good job making oodles of noise without having buttons that they can push to make MORE noise.  But mostly because I want the kids childhoods to be magical.

I want them to make their own entertainment, not be entertained.  I want them to see being bored as an opportunity, not an affliction.  I want them to be resourceful, and imaginative.

I remember playing.  ALL THE TIME.  I remember playing outside on the trampoline, making fairy houses, running around in the woods, playing dolls, Barbies, and Little House on the Prairie.  I had some toys that were electronics, and I remember a few of them fondly (I am talking about you ALPHIE II), but they didn't provide the same amount of hours of play that the woods did.

I don't feel like there is the same amount of magic to be found in a childhood spent staring at screens, or passively playing with toys that do all the work for you.  Children playing are joyful, they are laughing.  Children playing with electronics or watching TV don't have the same expressions.  Usually they don't have any expression.  

Think about it like this:  What do you take pictures of?  What are your favorite pictures from?  Are they pictures of you children playing video games, or pushing buttons on a toy?  Or are they the pictures of them frolicking outside, or building forts with your couch cushions?  

I don't care how you raise your kids, I don't judge you based on how much screen time you allow them.  They are your kids, and God gave them to you to raise, making the choices you think are best for them.  Just don't let your children's childhood be swallowed up by technology.


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