Jon and I had noticed that our boys behavior had been especially out of sorts in recent months. We noticed a significant increase in the drama department early on in the beginning of the year when we returned home from our holiday travels. They weren’t being creative, they didn’t really play with their toys and they were fighting with us and each other non-stop.
Then we figured it out. The boys received a couple of WII games for Christmas (Little A’s only request from Santa) and wanted to play them ALL the time. Of course we didn’t let them play nonstop, but they still were exceptionally cranky and disobedient when they weren’t playing or watching DVD’s or TV. I tried to encourage them to play with their toys more, go outside and be more creative…but Little A rejected the notion wholeheartedly (not normal for him) and the whole ordeal usually ended in bouts of crying and writhing on the floor.
We pulled the plug.
No TV, No WII, No DVD’s, No Netflix (which I think is choice overload for a small child and not my favorite platform for kids TV)…for a week, at least.
And little by little my sweet little creative, playful boys came back. They began imagining new things to do with their toys (such as line them all up a top their beds – which have been squished together during the colder months as Little O kept getting sick sleeping by the window) and they didn’t come to me so much complaining of boredom.
Once things were back to normal for a decent amount of time we did let them watch a show or play a WII game here and there but we are now much more careful about monitoring their time with the tele and make sure that it stays very limited. And if things ever get out of sorts again…well…we know just what to do.
Have you ever experienced TV/Video Game sensory overload with your children? Do they act out? What are your back up plans keep things in check? Do you think this happens to adults as well? I’d love for you to share your tips!