I don’t limit my kids screen time.
I recently felt judged about this decision when an acquaintance—whose oldest child is the same age as my oldest—said, “We have really tried to limit the amount of access we have given our children to TV, we rarely allow screen time…”
The conversation continued on from the other party in a very deeming and condescending tone of judgement because my household doesn’t limit screen time.
I was treated as if my kids were not going to grow up to be productive citizens because of how many episodes of Daniel Tiger I allow them to watch per day.
Typically, I am a “Cool you do you” type of mentality and I don’t get too worked up when someone is in opposition to my parenting choices, but this time it rubbed me a little wrong and I felt a little judged.
Actually, I felt a lot judged.
We don’t limit screen time, we don’t really structure it either. If our daughter finishes her homework and she wants to watch TV until bedtime, that is cool with us.
On the weekend if we are done running errands for the day and she wants to watch a couple movies back to back, we allow it.
We tried limiting screen time before. For more than a year we had limitations on time.
Because we thought that was what we should do.
Daily I see articles crossing my screen saying, “We found FREEDOM in taking away the screens.”
Articles that say, “You will find perfect harmony in your home if you take away the screens.”
And of course, the dozens of articles telling us we are terrible parents if we allow our children more than one hour of screen time per day at most.
So we did it, for almost a year we took away screen time and limited it to two days a week.
What did we do to fill the time?
We played games, we rode bikes, we did crafts, etc.
Did it change our family dynamic…NOPE
Did is give us any life altering harmony in our home that didn’t exist before?
NOPE not the slightest.
So when a second baby came and we had busier schedules and more to handle in the home the screen time limits went out the window.
Now that we are two years in with two children and we are settled and in a routine, we haven’t given up the screen time.
Why? Because even with no limits our daughters still want to play hide and seek several nights a week, our daughters still delight in coloring and making crafts, they still ask to jump on the trampoline and play on their swing set. Just because they CAN sit in front of a screen anytime they want doesn’t mean they do.
Yes we do watch more TV than we did when we limited it, but our home is happy, our kids are happy, and we watch TV together as a family.
Each generation tries to improve on the previous and I accept that and thrive in that concept in many ways, but my parents did not limit screen time.
I definitely watched WAY MORE TV than my kids want too and I turned out well. I am a Christ follower, a business professional, I have a beautiful marriage and amazing kids, I have two college degrees and a deep desire to tell people about Jesus… and my parents never limited my screen time.
Know if you choose not to limit screen time…
IT IS OK,
regardless of every other article that comes across your screen today saying you are failing if don’t set strict time limits, please remember those people are not you, those kids are not your kids, you do what works for YOUR family and if that’s allowing your kids to watch ten episodes of Daniel Tiger in a row on a Saturday that is FINE, they will be FINE.
*Edited to add: Due to some private messages I have received…if you limit screen time for whatever reason I also think that is AWESOME, I also believe your kids will grow up to be just FINE. My reason for this piece was two fold, to give an alternative perspective to what I see daily on my feed in regards to limiting screen time, and also to encourage parents to have a more open mindset when it comes to other families and how they parent. Making someone feel small because they choose different parenting styles is never OK. Making someone feel small or intentionally trying to make them feel inadequate is not living in kindness and kindness is what I am all about!*