I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop trying to get some work done. I looked up and caught an automobile ad on television. The ad showed a sulky looking tweenager sitting in the backseat looking at her phone. The family car turns off the road onto a gravel path. Next thing you know there is a beautiful vista before them and the kid has put down her phone to point in awe at all the trees. The parents gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, feeling grateful that their car was able to break their child’s dangerous obsession with electronics.
Is screen time damaging your child?
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of feeling scared that I am ruining my child every time he wants to turn on Paw Patrol. I feel like there is so much information out there telling us that TV destroys brain cells and attention spans and if you let your kid play Minecraft she’ll be incapable of functioning in the real world. That screens are all evil and parents who let their children have screen time are disgraceful.
How to determine screen time limits
I’m not here to dispute the risks of too much screen time. Everything in moderation right? (I’m looking at you, ice cream). I am however about to lay the smackdown on using scaremongering and shame to control how people parent.
Do you love your kid? Give them hugs? Ask them about their day? Play outside with them? Read books together? Then you’re fine.
When is screen time okay?
Find some balance between screen time and all the other activities. And stop beating yourself up if you sigh in relief when your kid wants to watch a show instead of whining underfoot while you cook dinner.