At the minute there’s lots of posts around the internet about making sure that children have less screen time and how too much screen time can be damaging to our children.
Firstly, I want to make it clear that I don’t disagree with the idea that too much screen time is bad and I do strongly believe that every family is different and you need to do what you think is right for your children and your family. But, and there’s always a but, I do have a slightly opinion about screen time that I wanted to share with you and even though I’m sure lots of you will disagree, it works for us….
Like lot’s of families these days. we have a lot of gadgets in our house – we’ve got a desktop PC, 2 laptops, an iPad, a Nexus, an XBox, a WiiU and our iPhones, a 3DS and a 2DS and probably more if I think about it. Despite the amount of technology in our house, we have no limits on screen time other than our one rule that all electronics must be turned off between 6.30 and 7pm ready for a snuggle and a read before their 8 ‘o’clock bedtime.
A while ago we did introduce a screen time limit because I was worried that if I didn’t set some limits then they’d be on one thing or another all day long but if I’m honest, it didn’t really work for us. My two enjoy playing games like Minecraft which is played online with their friends and the time limit I set seemed to make them want to play more and only got them frustrated when they were being told that they had to turn off but all of their friends were still playing. It’s hard for them to understand that they’re turning off for no reason other than the fact that I’m worried that they may be spending too much time on there.
So we had a talk and we got rid of the screen time limits and I think they probably spend less time on electronics than they did when we had a time limit and I feel a lot more relaxed about the whole issue. Don’t get me wrong, electronics are still a big part of their life and most days they’ll spend some time on one thing or another but it’s balanced with lots of other things.
We make sure we get outside for at least half an hour every day (weather permitting) by going for a bike or scooter ride or even just taking the dog for a walk and we do plenty of non screen related activities – jigsaws, board games, drawing and cooking together. We regularly join in with whatever they’re doing but they don’t need us too as they’re both actually just as happy playing together or even on their own which is brilliant.
We play together on the Xbox as a family and more often than not, instead of a board game night we have a family Wii U or Xbox 360 night. We have plenty of board games but they have more fun doing this, so why not?
There’s so much out there that we can all learn from the technology that our children are lucky enough to have at their fingertips. Miss Frugal loves to draw and at the moment she’s using Youtube to help her with her drawing technique. She’s also following some of the make up tutorials on there to learn how to put make up on and she’s already much better than me. It’s easy to forget that sites like YouTube can be an amazing resource for children to use when they’re used properly. Master Frugal loves Powerpoint and is a bit of a whizz on there – last night he made me a presentation about the demise of the world’s Rainforests.
Anyway, I know I’m waffling but my point is that yes, too much screen time is a bad thing but most of us don’t need to overly worry about the issue – just make sure it’s balanced with lots of other things.
What do you think?