How much screen time is too much?

How much screen time is too much?

Many experts say that kids should limit screen time to 1 hour a day.

My response to that: Laughter. Lots of it.


Oh, I get it. They are probably right. In an ideal world, one hour is plenty. 

But this is not an ideal world, Mr. Expert. Times have changed, so back the truck up.

I used to beat myself up over screen time. I even downloaded a big-brother type app to track my kids' time. As if I can't read a clock, I paid an app company to do the parenting for me. It kept track of their time perfectly, but we all felt like we were in a digital prison. 

My "expert" advice: Ignore a specific time and look at the big picture.

As a professional dad (totally made that up), I ask myself two questions that the experts don't:

1.) What are my kids doing with their screen time? 

2.) Are my kids active?

My oldest, Dylan, is making a game with his best friend, which requires coding. He also researches airplanes, airports, and space launches. When I'm putting together a launch forecast for television, I cross-check my rocket knowledge with him. 

My middle, Carter, is into a program called Scratch.  It was developed by the Media Lab at MIT. He likes to post pug memes on Instagram. He also loves to watch Dude Perfect. Now we all do, and we watch it as a family. The 5 of us crack up over Dude Perfect's silliness.


My youngest, Grady, plays video games and watches videos. However, he values time with Mom and Dad, so he self-limits. And when he doesn't, we cut him off, and he has a meltdown. #ThatsRealLife

Under this blanket is said meltdown:



Each of them takes time to play outside.

They are healthy. 

These are unchartered digital times and we're doing the best we can.

Don't beat yourself up over unrealistic screen time limits – limits that don't take into account the big picture.


What do you think? Leave your comments below! 

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Comments

  1. Awesome post, Brian. I must share with my daughter-in-law, she has a limit ony grandsons. I told her chill!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so going to get me in trouble, aren't you :) HA! Have a great day!

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  2. Sounds like you are doing a good job of monitoring their use of screen time so I would not worry about it. It is those that don't monitor their kids time who need to worry.

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  3. Self-limits of Grady is so good. My first niece, instead, spends a lot of time in front of a tablet watching fables and videos of youtubers. Thanks for your tips,

    Arrivederci!
    marco (journalist from rome, italy, planet earth)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the locator - planet earth was a good add. That made me smile! Have a great evening!

      Delete
  4. Thank you Brian. A little less guilt will go a long way!

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    Replies
    1. Lots of guilting out there, for sure. We are all trying!

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  5. Absolutely. We don't actively limit our kids' screen time either, but they still have many other interests and still do other things. They are great kids and creative and do well in school, so I see no reason to impose limits. Of course, screen time is also the first thing to go if they do need to be disciplined, but thankfully, that doesn't happen often.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment & sharing! Have a great weekend!

      Delete

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