I was super strict with my daughter about screen time, a.k.a. watching TV. I worried that if she watched a 20-minute show, she would never learn to talk or interact with real human being, and that she would become obese and never want to play sports. It seems totally ridiculous and insane, but as a first-time-mom, these were real concerns for me.
I tried to suppress my frustration when my baby daddy let her watch short clips of birds on Youtube at 16-months-old and compensated by making sure she knew all of her flash cards. When she was 18 months old, I had my second baby and was soon forced to give into an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood every now and then just so I could survive 2-under-2.
Now, my daughter is almost three. She is smart as a whip and gets about 4 hours of screen time per week (again, this is code for watching TV). That is way, way less than the hours my husband and I spend on screen time, and I consider us smart, kick-ass, amazing human beings. That said, I do try to put on educational shows that teach her age-appropriate lessons.
Key questions to ask yourself:
- How much time are they spending in front of screens?
- What kind of content are they consuming?
As I prepare to fly with both of my little ones to California next month, I pray that my 17-month-old son will be ready to sit through a show, or 10, for the five hour flight. I no longer judge the parents who bought their toddler an iPad to get through flights. It’s hard. And, let’s be honest, we all deserve a break now and again.
What’s your policy with screen time for your kids? When did you start giving them some time in front of the tv? Share your approach in the comments below. #encouragingnewperspectives