Does your child go ‘a bit nuts’ after screen time? Mine too…
For anyone who knows me well you know that I have battled with the screen time conundrum for a long time.
My eldest has never been a child who craves time alone and is a very active child. This means that down time in our house consists of drawing/colouring or ‘watching something’.
‘Watching something’ is the only one of these that doesn’t require an adult to be actively involved and the only time that total silence reigns- which we all need, even for just a snippet of the day. And is definitely ideal when younger siblings are sleeping.
Screen time in our house therefore tends to fall at the same time and for the same amount of time each day but this isn’t the conundrum I battle with.
It is the aftermath of the screen time.
That impulsive, cranky, tantruming, moody little person that rears its head the second the screen is turned off.
This conundrum I have hunted high and low for a solution to. I read long ago that part of the trick is to set a limit and get your child to turn off the screen themselves. We have followed this model for a while and it definitely improved the total melt down when it came time to turn off the screen.
But it didn’t stop the impulsive tornado that is unleashed around the house for the afternoon after a reasonably small amount of screen time.
This week 1x word has changed all that.
It is that simple. I have been kicking myself all week for not realising it myself.
When children watch screens they work so hard processing the sounds and fast paced images that their vestibular system goes into neutral. This is the reason you can never get an answer from a child watching something.
This neutral mode is the key because when a child stops watching something their brain continues processing at the speed that it was and takes a while to reset- Hence ‘nutty’ behaviour that we see in our homes.
So how do you reset it?
Any movement that engages a child’s vestibular system- 10x star jumps, followed by hopping from one room to another on one leg, then back again on the other leg.
Or a little obstacle course of cushions to jump over and then rolly polls on the floor, followed by crouching and jumping into the air 5 times.
This movement allows your child to reset their body and their mood.
We have tried it this week and it has been amazing.
Give it a go. I think you’ll be sold too.
Enjoy the downtime snippets of screen time can provide, without the dreaded aftermath.
Your hands-on helper,