Ive been putting a lot of thought into how much screen time my kids are getting this winter and how much is too much as Franca has recently become more and more glued to a screen, well lets say she would be glued to it a lot more if I didn’t have some rules in place. But I still have this huge guilt that they watch too much and am I turning their brains to mush? are their eyes going to turn square? am I damaging them for life? aggghhh Im sure there are a lot of you out there thinking the same things and trying to manage what is the right amount? am I right?
I grew up with screen time never being an issue as a child born into the 70s (yep that right Im that old) and there was only one screen in the household and you were lucky if that was in colour! kids programmes were on at set times too. I can remember watching “Playhouse” in the middle of the day before I started school and also “After School”…well after school, then “What Now” was on a Saturday morning and people THAT WAS IT! the rest of the time we played… I know right, we knew no different. Well how times have a changed.These days at least every household has 3-4 screens and at our place theres around eight. Two phones, Two TVs, Two i-Pads,Two laptops and a Chrome book…make that nine!!! Holy Moly.
The new thing also is that with Franca growing up she’s starting to get much more tech savvy, until a few months ago they didn’t even know the I-pads could get internet as I just downloaded apps onto them, but the school girls have now shown her the and U-TUBE! they were u-tube virgins until recently but friends and school mates are sharing all their knowledge.
I am constantly having to monitor Screen Time in our house, I mean it can be a wonderful tool such as Educational Apps and school Homework Projects as well as googling slime Right? Also Franca can practice her Hip Hop show from home with a website, School Blogs can be read and they are most definitely life savers sometimes for travel and quiet dinners out with two tired kids in tow. Ill be the first to say we often use them for keeping the kids quiet and out of our hair. But the question Im trying to ask really and work out for our household how much should I allow and what kind of contents OK?
At this stage the one SET rule we have and stick by is NO screen time in the mornings before school (there may be a very rare occasion) but its ok on the weekends. Other than that is a day to day thing. We have four days where we are busy with activities after school so screens aren’t too much of an issue and when they get home at 4.30-5 its totally fine to watch a device or TV for a few hours until bedtime? of is it? they must eat their dinner, do their homework, get changed etc etc. Are they really actually on them a lot I ask myself as I write down our weekly routine. Weekends we are often busy with playdates and activities and then we always have a family movie if we are at home in the evenings, one of our Favourite things to do.
Also as I scrolled my photo roll to find photos of the kids on screens there were so many photos of them outside having adventures that I think we aren’t doing too badly at all. Yes there are days that I can’t be bothered parenting and they can watch hours of TV, yes there are nights where I just want a wine and to watch Shameless in peace so I throw a i-pad at them in bed for a hour and next week we head off on a ten day roady and those i-pads will be fully charged and loaded with new movies and games.
I think every family has to do what works for them and not to judge what anyone else is doing, well be going with the everything in moderation much as how we live the rest of our lives. I think what I need to be doing going forward is to find ways to block and monitor content as Franca is now coming home with things that the girls at school have showed her how to google,this week is Brittney Spares which Im actually loving but who knows what could be next? but thats a whole other Blog right?