Addicted to Screens…Part 2

kids_screen_time

a little too young

Natalie,

Screens, screens and more screens.

I think your topic is an important one, so I wanted to write you back specifically.

I am pleased to say that the kids don’t watch a lot of TV or spend much time on the iPad (and no one is allowed to play with my phone!). We are probably stricter than most. We treat TV time as a treat, no guarantees.

On the other hand, the Little Man has started getting more computer time. It is still screen time; however, I do feel a bit better about it because it is school related. Maybe I am fooling myself; maybe not.  He plays educational games and does reading programs online. These require logins that are supplied by his school. So, to me, it feels a bit more like homework. Although, if I let him, he would stay on for hours — not exactly what I think the school meant. So we set limits there as well.

I don’t want to discourage his interest in using the computer; however, I do want to continue to encourage the fun games my kids make up because they don’t get a lot of screen time.  I adore how they make up games that incorporate both of their favorite toys. They play legos in the dollhouse or good/bad guys with babies. Ironman comes to save Cricket’s baby (right after she feeds her, of course). Legos and princesses can survive attacks from dinosaurs together, while Superman comes to patch up boo-boos with bandaids after. I love their ideas, their imaginations.

I am thankful that my children aren’t clamoring for screen time. I am grateful that they don’t have to have a screen in hand to follow me around Target or the grocery store. However, I agree screen time is life saver when you need it and it certainly has a place in today’s education.

Now, what about us? What about our screen time? I don’t work (a traditional job), so I don’t spend all day at the computer; however, I do spend all day with my phone. Most of the time it is in my pocket. I grab it often to snap pictures of the kids or a quick check of my email. I probably look at it too much. I could probably use a day off.

I also don’t watch a lot of TV — probably don’t even watch an hour a day; however, I do spend a lot of time reading on my iPad. I love real books, but don’t always get to read them. It is often easier to read on the iPad because I can stop and start without losing my spot. I can grab it and read while on the treadmill or climbing the stairs at the gym.

Do I get too much screen time? Maybe. My husband and I instituted a night off of the screen — it is supposed to be Wednesdays. We haven’t done so well lately, but maybe it is time to get back to it. We can all use a break from the screens.

What do you do to keep your screen time in check?

Courtney

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