How much TV is too much TV?
I’ll admit that I’ve had a lot of guilt over the years when it comes to the amount of screen time my kids get. There’s always a new article quoting some doctor or researcher who says screen time is the cause of hyperactivity, obesity, or some other scary disorders in children.
I’ve toyed with limiting our kids to a specific amount of time, keeping it to certain hours of the day, or saying they can only have it after x,y or z has been completed. We’ve even had times of zero television! Total stop!
But you guys, I’m so tired of it! No matter what system I’ve tried none of these trials have ever stuck long term. Does this make me a super lazy or irresponsible parent? I don’t think so.
I think we’re asking the wrong questions | How much TV is too much TV?
I had a moment of enlightenment today. What if we stopped focusing on the amount of screen time our kids are getting and instead look at what they are doing besides staring at a screen. Let’s flip the thought process around by asking different questions.
Are our kids spending time creating and using their imaginations? Are they getting a good amount of exercise and fresh air? Are they learning, being challenged, and using their brains to problem solve? Are they socializing? Are they enjoying hobbies?
If the answer to those questions is no, then yeah, we may have a problem. But chances are, your kids are doing these things and more on the daily and will probably be just fine long term.
Sometimes it rains for days on end. Sometimes we get sick of colouring, stacking blocks, and making tents out of blankets. Sometimes germs enter our bodies and we get sick or we’re exhausted from a bad nights sleep. And sometimes, our children are having such a blast playing with their friends or toys that they don’t even ask to watch something!
It all balances out, system or no system. If you love your kids, are making sure they’re developmentally meeting their milestones and living healthy through proper diet and exercise, they’re going to be okay.
Maybe you’ve made rules around screens that work for your family. That’s wonderful! Today I’m talking to the parents who are feeling horrible because they allowed their child to watch an entire Disney movie on a Monday afternoon so they could have some down time. Oh wait, that was me…
Why I’m Not Worried
What I’m trying to say, is that it’s all good! Because after that movie is done, I’ll cook and serve my kids dinner, clean them up, bathe them, brush their teeth, and then tuck them into bed with stories and kisses. We’re going to remember the cuddles we had, the rocks we climbed, and the frogs we saw today; not the fact that we watched Moana for the billionth time.
How much TV is too much TV? Stop worrying so much. Let go of that guilt. Focus on giving your kids the best you can each day and making life magical for them. They’re going to be just fine.