OK. So. Screen time …. it seems to be ‘the thing’ lots of parents chat about, how much is appropriate for your child? Should they watch it before school / after school / before bed? Jeepers some parents even judge another by how much time they allow their child to spend in front of a screen….you allow them how much time?? You only watch 1 hour per day – what are you, like super strict?! And for me, it has been no different. Truth be told I have been a bit OTT and probably slightly obsessed with how much our kids watch. But over the weekend I’ve decided to LIGHTEN.UP!
You see, up until now I have had a 1 hour per day screen time rule, with the occasional stretch to 2 hours max. And I have been controlling when that time slot is….maybe it has been when the kids are really tired and I’ve ‘allowed’ them to veg out on the sofa for an hour while I make the dinner. Other times it’s been at the weekend when the hubster and I are trying to get ready to go out and we kinda need 20 minutes peace to do that.
But like I said, I was, looking back, probs a bit OTT. You know you read about how it can affect their language development, social interaction, behaviour, etc. etc. and you are led to believe that it is “really bad for them”. Almost like it might do them some sort of physical and mental harm. And, while I definitely do agree that no child should ever watch TV all day every day and that there are definite ‘bad points’ about too much screen time. I have decided to lighten up – everything in moderation, right?
Somewhere along the way I think I have made the television into a kind of ‘idol’ for my kids. They seem to spend a large percentage of their day asking me, “Can I watch my show yet?” And I want that kind of obsession to stop. I don’t want it to be such a big deal for them. We don’t have ipads or kindles or innotabs….we have 1 TV in the living room and a laptop (which the kids don’t even use yet!) And I am trying, this week to achieve more of a balance. It’s still not going to be on in the background all day, nor will it be on in the mornings, but in the afternoons….well……
We’ll see how it goes, maybe by the end of the week all we’ll have done is watch TV as it will be such a novelty! Or maybe the kids will kind of regulate how much they watch themselves? They’ll get bored and go off and play with something else. I’m hoping that will be the case and then maybe, they’ll stop asking for it to be on all the time, I’ll cross one thing off my “guilty mummy” list, and hey maybe we’ll even learn something along the way!
I’d love to hear how you guys feel about screen time, whether that be TV or ipads or gaming? Are you strict about how much they watch? Are you relaxed about it?