Should We Limit Screen Time For Our Kids?

We live in a technological world, I LOVE IT! I’m all about going forward and using technology as much as possible. Also, I  love that my daughter will be using computers and tablets in school next year. In fact they said that she would understand how to use power point by the end of the year. WHAT? I didn’t learn how to use power point until I was in about third grade! But should we be limiting it?

Should We Limit Screen Time?

According to the AAP we should be limiting screen time for 2-5 year olds to 1 hour a day. Then from 6 and older monitor it. This was very eye-opening for me. As a mom and someone who runs a childcare.. just how much TV are my kids watching? In fact a movie, is considered too much time for them.

They explain in the article that this doesn’t count for online homework. So for example if your child does 30 minutes a day on a reading app you don’t have to count that as “free screen time.”

Now, we have to take this knowledge into consideration. Obviously I am not going to stop my daughter from watching a movie just because most movies push 2 hours. But this does mean I need to keep a closer look on how much TV/iPad/DS time she is getting. If I am being 100% real, she probably gets 2-3 hours a day, some of this being educational.

How Can I Set Limits?

So I am definitely coming to the conclusion that I need to set some more limits, for myself, my daughter and my daycare. Now HOW do I do this? When I was kid, if my mom said no more than 2 hours of TV, I immediately wanted to watch more.  The second I had a restriction I wanted to push past that. Lexi is the exact same way!

My solution is to have a time limit in my head. For Lexi I would like to see less than an hour and a half on her devices, including me turning on the TV. Then, for my daycare I would like to really work hard to keep it at an hour. We usually only watch TV during pick up and drop off, but I can still cut that down quite  a bit.

Now, my trick is going to be not telling Lexi or the older kids that are in my childcare my “Rule.” I know if I tell them I have limits set, it will not be pretty. In stead of telling her to get off her iPad or TV and walking away I am going to help her find something to do, or engage her in an activity.

Like I said earlier I love technology, but I also don’t want to let that be an excuse for giving them too much screen time.

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