We thought we’d do a little experiment today: let our son watch TV for as long as he wants. He got up this morning at 8 a.m., and has been watching ever since. It’s now 3:45 p.m. I’d love it if this screen shot included all his day’s “viewing activity,” but with 32 episodes so far, I can’t fit it all on the screen. (Here’s a partial shot though, and the list is growing with the passage of time.) We’ve also both left the house twice: once for several hours (to go running and to Zumba), and the other just now to get some coffee.
Evidence that he has no idea how much time has passed is when we went upstairs to take him his afternoon pill. He takes the same pill in the morning, and another at 2:30 p.m. We handed it to him and he said, “I already took it.” Yep, like six hours ago…
In the meantime, we’ve cancelled Netflix, deactivated all devices, and changed the password. Turns out doing all that is not instant fix – it takes about eight hours for the system to catch up. So, in the meantime, our son is getting his last hurrah. After tonight, the TV is going into a box in the basement.
Are we horrible parents? I’m sure that in a few days after experiencing withdrawal, our son will certainly think so. But the kid has no ability to entertain himself, engage in imaginary play, or self-soothe. It’s time he develop these skills. I know adults who do nothing but watch television, and they are quite dull with no drive to live life in a meaningful way. So, horrible parents? I think the opposite.