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Big Kids

10th Jun 2024

‘My husband’s ridiculous TV rules for the kids are starting to cause a major issue’

Niamh Ryan

A mother wrote to Newstalk’s Parenting segment about her husband’s strict parenting when it comes to TV

The woman’s husband doesn’t allow their 12 year old twins to watch TV at all during the week.

“It is only allowed on weekend mornings and at that, only until he gets out of bed,” she wrote.

“As a result my kids will will be up at 6am on the weekend to get to see some TV before Dad gets up.”

She said the issues causes major arguments between her and her husband.

In her eyes, it’s unfair to be so restrictive.

She believes her children are also old enough to make the decision by themselves – they already have phones and the parents monitor their apps.

“He thinks that bored kids are creative kids but I can tell you, that bored kids are unhappy kids, and I feel they are spending their childhood in a very dreary way, just passing the time and waiting to go to bed,” she said.

With the summer coming up, she said, she knows they don’t have a lot of options for activities. Living in the countryside there’s no children the same age for them to play with.

Psychotherapist Joanna Fortune weighed in on the situation, and said it was “an example of not parenting on the same page.”

While the rule around TV is not inherently bad, Fortune pointed out that “there’s no reference here do activities you do as a family.”

“If you say to your kids, ‘We’re not watching TV’ – what are you finishing that sentence with? ‘Because we’re going to the woods, or this beach, we’re going to climb a mountain, we’re going to do something.'”

Fortune said you can’t limit screen time without having a plan of action: “Be very clear about their time is to be used as much as how it is not to be used.”

Let us know what you think. Is her husband being unreasonable?