Five Lessons from a TV-Free Household

The following is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen.

When Kara suggested I write about our experience as a TV-free household, I was hesitant.  TV time for kids is one of those hot-button issues that can divide mothers or, at the very least, induce guilt in all of us–those with and without TVs.  But I”m not here to tell you that you should throw out your TV.  I”m not even here to tell you why we don”t have one; you”ve heard all the reasons before and, like me, you”ve made the choice you feel is best for your family.

Instead, I”m here to give you a little glimpse into our TV-free lives by sharing with you some lessons I”ve learned on our journey.

Five Lessons from a TV-Free Household

1. I”ve found that it”s easier to have my children watch no TV at all than it is is to allow TV sometimes.  I know the conventional wisdom says “everything in moderation,” and that some people have success limiting TV to 1/2 hour a day, or only on the weekends, or some other system.  I tried something similar and found it very challenging.  For the first few years of their lives, I didn”t show my children anything on screens, ever.

Then, from late winter of 2011 to late winter of 2012, I allowed my children one half-hour show per week, usually an episode of Little Bear or something similar on Netflix.  While my girls certainly enjoyed this 1/2 hour, I did not find it to be worth the struggles that ensued.  The begging I endured for “just one more show, for special!” and the complaints of “but we didn”t watch a show today!” (even though a show was only allowed once a week) were too much for me.
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Kids in the Kitchen: Part Two

The following post is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen

Last week I wrote about why I believe  cooking with our kids is important.  Many of you responded, and some of you listed even more reasons to bring kids into the kitchen.

7 Tips for Successful Cooking With Kids

Today I’d like to share some tips for how to successfully cook with kids.  If your small children have never cooked with you before, you might not all collaborate on a massive Thanksgiving meal the first time you cook together.  Start small, and you’ll  find that shared food prep becomes second nature before too long.

Until then, try these tips for making the experience smoother:

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Kids in the Kitchen: Part One

The following is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen.

When I talked about surviving the witching hour with small children last March, one of the suggestions I gave was including your children in the cooking.   Next week I’ll have lots of tips for how you can accomplish this in a way that keeps everyone happy and sane, but first I’d like to talk about why you should consider making this a regular part of your routine. 

Some of us cook with our kids all the time, and it’s no big deal, but some of us cringe at the thought of flour all over the floor, more clothes to clean, messy hands, ruined meals, etc.   Although there is some validity to those fears, you can eliminate most of them and successfully cook with kids by being intentional about the way you do it.  A little planning goes a long way in the kitchen.

Why You Should Consider Cooking With Your Kids

If you have yet to invite your kids to cook but would like to, consider the following:

Time Together

Our time is limited.  Most of us, even those who aim for simpler lives, find ourselves busier than we’d like, and this can sometimes mean that we wish we had more time to bond with our kids.  When we think of cooking as something that needs to be done without the kids, we squander a perfect opportunity for bonding and togetherness.   Cooking with our children gives us time together that we might not otherwise have. 

Even if dinner means walking in the door, throwing together a salad, and putting a frozen pizza in the oven, doing these things together is a great way to be with our kids and reconnect, especially if we’ve been away from each other for the day.

Some of us prep all of our food on Sunday for the week because the evenings are too busy.  Again—this is a great time to spend with our children instead of shuttling them off to the next room to watch a movie while we get “work” done.

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