setting limits on screen time | Where is June?

This is a very personal post.  Maybe it will be a popular post.  {Who knows?}   All I know is that I struggle everyday with setting limits on screen time in my house.  Like many parenting topics, it is sort of like opening Pandora’s box.  Every family has their own philosophy on screens and the amount of time that is appropriate for their children to be staring at them.  While I am in continual struggle to set these limits for our boys, there are a myriad of thoughts that run through my mind:

**I love screens when the boys are creating a movie, messaging with Grandma 30o miles away, looking up a fact on Safari, looking at the surface of the Moon.  I love screens when on a plane.

**Screens are invaluable to my boys’ education.  Most specifically they use their iPads every day to complete homework.  They both use voice dictation software to help them compose their thoughts for writing assignments.  My oldest has a school iPad provided by his middle school.  They view assignments, submit work, keep a calendar, message classmates regarding class work, and communicate with teachers.

**I mostly hate YouTube.  Specifically the 30-year-old gamer that lives in his parents’ basement and records and narrates himself playing video games.  Seriously, it is mind numbing!

**I have a love/hate relationship with Minecraft.  It is amazing what the boys craft, but inevitably one pisses the other one off.  {The yelling is no joke.}

**I am a lazy mother.  It is so easy to just let them play and sometimes I just need 30 minutes.

**It is the boys’ language.  When they aren’t playing, they are talking about games and apps with their friends.

**Adults are always on screens too!

**The game is rated T for Teen but my eight year old is playing it.  Should I have stricter limits?!?

**I am parenting in an age in which I did not grow up.  While this isn’t unique to our generation, it feels like an immense responsibility.  Everything is posted and published.  Add teaching our kids to be responsible social media citizens to the list.

**Judgement is harsh and it is real!

Ok, so there it is.  Nothing really but a list of all the crap that runs through my head.  How much time do my kids spend on screens per day?  Well, most days it is an hour of leisure screen time- unless I am feeling lazy {see above}.   And weekends are the hardest days to regulate!

I am interested to hear if you struggle with screen time too! 

What are your tricks?  What do you love/hate about screens? 


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  1. PIper Henry says:

    I’m totally down with everything you said Denise.
    This is my current philosophy on screens…

    No screens till everything else is done, homework (unless your homework is on a screen), chores, practice, etc.
    No privacy with what you’re watching. No closed doors and yes, mom will spontaneously check out what you’ve been watching.
    I tell my kids that I track EVERYTHING that goes out or comes in on all our devices.
    ( I actually don’t, not really sure how to do that, but I’m hoping the fear will keep them thoughtful)
    As far as time limits go, I’m in the same boat. There have been days, like Saturday, when it’s pouring rain and I don’t even realize it, but they’ve been on the iPad for 4 hours.
    When attitudes go south, I shut off all devices.
    I don’t know that there is a “right” amount of time for kids to be on electronics, I think it depends on the kid. I know science disagrees and they’re probably right, but we’re not a science lab, we’re a messy, imperfect, overbooked family. Engagement, support, love and fun are the most important factors in parenting to me. Everything else is a cultural shift changing every 10 minutes with a new report or trend in parenting. I think doing your best, spending time with your kids and listening, not judging what other parents are experiencing is a functional, healthy and real way of navigating this frontier of raising kids with tech. Also, I’ve never raised kids before with or without tech, so who knows how the hell it’s all gonna turn out.
    My mantra is, “Good Enough”.

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