My Kids Don't Watch TV (Saturday Mornings)

Please enjoy a few minutes for self-reflection this morning. At any moment you can get fired up to live your absolute wildest dreams (on your terms).

And a very special happy birthday to my older sister, Katie. I can't wait to see you for Thanksgiving <3

A letter to my sons, Liam and Henry

Liam and Henry,

You are just three and four years old. I remember being your age.

Did you know that when I was young, I rarely watched TV?

My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom, and I grew up at home for the first years of my life. The TV was never on. It was never an option.

When we were bored, my Mom told us to go outside. Or write our books. Or find something to do.

I am so grateful for her doing this. She gave me my life back.

And so as a Mom now too, the one thing your father and I do very intentionally, is we’re nearly a TV-free home.

The kids your age (3-5 years old), watch an average of 2.5 hours of TV per day.

(And the numbers go frighteningly up the older you get.)

2.5 hours/day = 15 hours of TV each week.

15-hours is like you watching TV on a Sunday from the moment you wake up at 6am, until 9pm at night straight, far after your bedtime.

The reason you don't watch TV is purely selfish of me: I couldn’t live with the guilt of being responsible for stealing your life away.

You’re just three and four years old. What would I be thinking to put you in front of a screen for 2.5 hours a day?

When you could be playing! Making your Forts. Coloring. Building. Getting into arguments with your brother. Playing outside. Riding your scooter.

Just being in the world.

Liam and Henry, I want you to be here now.

I want you eyes wide awake. Looking around. Being in your body. Being aware of your surroundings. Being connected to your inner self.

Experiencing the wide range of emotions.

Creating things.

Your father and I decided long ago that TV is not a tool.

Not a babysitter. Not a pacifier. Not an excuse for getting you to sit down and be quiet.

We want you to become in love with the world and in love with life. To be here now, in real time.

I feel terribly sad for children and teenagers who have screens in front of their eyes:

  • What would they have created in those 15 hours?
  • What would they have learned?
  • How would they have grown?
  • What kinds of bonds would they have built from the adults and siblings and kids around them?

Something inside me refuses to normalize this.

It's not normal for kids to stare at a screen.

How can you keep the TV/phones/tablets/screens off?

First, I raise my hand in feeling not good enough about a lot of things as a parent.

Raising kids is the craziest thing I've ever embarked on.

But the TV thing... this hits a deep value / philosophy of mine. We need to rise up for our kids.

What's good is that it's something totally within our control as parents.

If you want your kids to watch less TV, you can start now. You can always start now.

It is not hard to keep the TV off. It is simply a NO.

Say it with me, NO.

You will want:

1) a simple rule about TV to follow (Have the rule be stated in the affirmative), and

2) stick 100% to the rule at all times. You cannot ever waiver. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Okay? Never. Not once.

(I waiver in the extremes: ie when my kids are sick or if we're sitting on a 9-hour airplane ride to Europe).

What’s the rule in our house?

We watch TV on Friday and the weekends.

If my kids ask me, “can we watch TV?” I say “No it’s not Friday”.

End of discussion.

Yay, it’s Friday!

On Friday, after Henry’s nap, my kids get chicken nuggets and fries and cozy up to a movie on the TV.

For about an hour.

Then Saturday and Sunday, they get up to 1 hour.

Many weekend they don’t watch TV at all; simply because there’s no interest and there’s better things to do.

Like going to the beach, coloring with Mommy, play fighting with Daddy, and building the most epic magna tiles castle-airport-police station.

Liam and Henry, you watch 2.5 hours of TV per week.

That gives you 15 hours of your life back to enjoy it to the fullest.

I love you to the moon and back,

Your mom,



Co-Founder and International Coach at Liv.Lit! Coaching and Training

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