In the real world, we don’t all agree on everything. Sometimes, you think you’re right and actually, someone comes along and shares their point of view with you and you start to think that they have a point. Or at the very least you have a better understanding of where they’re coming from. So, once a month I’m going to post my opinion on a particular issue and ask another blogger to share their differing views.
Last month was all about packed lunches Vs school dinners and this month, we’re discussing something that affects lots of us – screen time! And because I know that Jen has some great points to make on this subject as we’ve discussed it over a chai latte once or twice, I’ve asked her to share her opinion with you too.
I personally don’t have a set limit on the amount of time that my children are allowed on their electronics.
That’s not because I’m happy for them to sit in front of the TV or play on their XBox or iPads all day – I’d be really sad if that’s all they wanted to do and I would have to step in at that point. It’s more because we’ve tried it in the past and it really didn’t work for us as a family.
Firstly, I found a set time limit quite difficult to stick to because they would often ask for a little more time as they needed to finish something off that they were doing but then when that time was up, they’d want more time. Either that or one of their school friends would come on-line just before they were due to turn off and they would want to play with them for a while. If I stuck to the screen time limit we had, I’d say no so they’d come off unhappy and if I said yes then there really wasn’t a point having the limit at all.
I genuinely feel like imposing a limit on screen time makes them want more time and if I’m perfectly honest, I really don’t mind if they want to spend a whole afternoon playing on their electronics or doing nothing but watch TV every now and again because I know it’s not every day and that the number of times that they’ll want to spend the same amount of time outside with their friends will far outweigh these times.
I get that I’m the parent and if I set a limit or tell them to turn off then they need to do it but I don’t really want to set a time limit as I feel it’s unnecessary.
We have lots of electronics in our house including an Xbox 360, a Wii U, a 2DS and a 3DS, and iPads and both kids even have a TV in their bedrooms (no TV ariels though as they’re just to watch DVDs on at the moment) but to balance that out we also have a giant trampoline, bikes, scooters, a go kart, skateboards and a stack of board games the height of Master Frugal. We go swimming once a week and try and spend at least 20 minutes of time outside having fun EVERY day, no matter what the weather’s like. I guess what I’m saying here is that I’m happy that we have a good balance.
I don’t like them playing on their electronics just before bedtime but rather than set a no electronics rule, I’ve made that time the time that we tidy everything away for the day that we’ve had out (rather cleverly including electronics) and we sit together and relax for a while.
There’s much more important things for me to stress about in life which is why I’m perfectly happy with our rule that there is no rule on screen time.
How do you feel?