No screen time - thoughts?

I would like no screen time for my current 16 month old. However we do show her videos and photos of herself on our phones, sometimes she watches us on our phones, sometimes we turn on the news/Netflix in the background while we play/lie in bed waiting for her to fall asleep. I am really strict with screen time. Especially involving other people that aren’t her parents. I don’t want them being the ones giving screen time and spoiling her. Recently she wants us to hold our phones and show her stuff. She throws fits when we don’t. But normally she is showing signs of extreme interest. Husband has let her watch YouTube videos of dancing kids while his mom watched her and we had date night. But normally, no/limited screen time. I understand we live in a technology world and half my job and half my me-time is done on my phone. I worked an event at work tonight and came home to husband watching Coco with her. I got so mad and anxious. Am I too controlling? Should I let him watch a Disney movie with her when she’s single daddy-ing it? Is that a sign of lazy parenting on his part? If we introduce screen time to her, should I only allow it when we are home with her? And keep to no screen time with caretakers, She’s currently at home with grandmas at my house during the work day. I don’t know how to manage this. I really want the best for her. I don’t want her screen addicted. I also have control issues hahaha advice anyone?

  • Jenn
    Nov 14

    I try to limit my 18 month old TV time to 1 hour a day. But now that I'm pregnant and it's getting colder, she may get more, especially on the weekend. Also, she has been sick so TV has been a lifesaver to calm a cranky kid. I think as long as it is in moderation, it will be fine. My LO will still play and interact with us when the TV is on, so that is also good.

  • Kieli
    Nov 15

    I believe in moderation is fine. My 2 yr old likes to watch stuff, YouTube/tv. If I put something on for her while I’m cooking or something, she will watch for a few minutes and then go play. And same as Jenn, she will talk and play when tv is on so I don’t think she is “addicted”. But some children do have a problem, with the tv. So it’s definitely something to keep an eye on, but with all of the technology now a days it’s very difficult to have 0 screen time. There are a lot of educational shows and videos as well. My daughter has learned a lot of songs and even ABCs from watching things

  • anonymous mom
    Nov 15

    I understand where you’re coming from but I think you need to sit down and talk to your husband about what your expectations are and what his are and try to negotiate a boundary you’re both comfortable with. We never have tv on for background noise. Ever. We play music if we need noise on. Having said that, we let our daughter watch videos of herself often and she’s seen Sesame Street a few times. She’s 2 and doesn’t get more than an hour a week total of screen time, usually a lot less. So you need to work it out with your husband and then set a personal goal to trim it down if you think it’s too much. That’s what I would do. Good luck 😃

  • Cindy
    Nov 15

    I was like you when my son was about your daughters age. But with time I started easing up because as a single working mom, sometimes the only me time I have is when he is watching some cartoons. This is when I can clean & cook. Also, I noticed when I was making a bigger deal of it, my son would have more tantrums over screen time. As I let go, so did he. So here are my new guidelines: -Preferably No youtube if I can help it. If you like you tube, sit there with your daughter so you can monitor what she is watching. They advertise WAY TOO MUCH to children -I have done my homework and am ok with Netflix, PBS, and for apps Kahn Academy Kids. These have no advertisements and are educational. (Netflix bc he loves robots, im ok with that bc that the way of the future) -We have a long commute so sometimes in the car I let him watch netflix - I realized that the more he sees me on my phone, the more he wants to be on the phone, so I limit MY screen time. -If I’m really tired, we watch movies together and it gives us time for cuddles -I make sure we get outside Like others have said, moderation is key. They are going to be surrounded by screens so all we can do is try to guide them in the right direction. My son is 3 now. He has a wild imagination and learned his colors, some numbers & letters from the cartoons. So overall he is doing well.

  • A
    Nov 15

    You are an awesome Mom for wanting to get rid of screen time. For me, I think it would be really hard and stressful to be so strict about it. We do limit TV time and try to stick to high quality stuff. (No YouTube lol) I do feel like my kids have learned from the TV at times. For example we watch a lot of Daniel Tiger, which teaches all kinds of life lessons. My daughter will actually pull quotes from episodes of that show when she s I a pickle. “Mom Danielle Tiger says when your mad take a deep breathe and count to three..” Also, that hour a day gives me some sanity. Ie: I can shower, fold laundry, make dinner in peace. My twins are 3 now, and we just started letting them watch full movies on occasion. I feel like it’s nice to sit down as a family, cuddle and watch a Disney flic.

  • Gi
    Nov 18

    I have a 4 yo and a 22mo. They have virtually no screen time except from facetime with family and watching the occasional videos of themselves. They both been to part-time daycare with no screens. My 4 yo is fully bilingual and is learning how to read now mostly by himself (obviously I teach him how the letters sound, but I work so we have limited time for "academics" as when we are together I try to play)... He entertains his younger brother by singing, telling him stories... Everyone compliments us how they "behave" at restaurants and flights without screens but it is just their reality. I think it may be difficult to enforce if this is not something your family embrace... We model it so they don't know otherwise. Whatever you decide, choose something it aligns with your values not with other's opinions though.

  • Jenn
    Nov 21

    I have a 4 and 6 year old. We do not own tablets, they don’t have phones. I let them watch tv on weekends. We do a 2 hr limit on weekend days. I am definitely more strict but that’s because it’s a strong belief and value of mine. I see how addicted my husband is to his phone, and Tv and I use my phone too much and I know that while it can be educational, they love learning the old fashion way, reading books and playing. They’ve had tablets at school and I know they do a fair amount of screen time at school these days so that’s just my value. Not everyone will feel the same. When I see babies glued to tablets or parents phones just strolling through a store I can’t....I don’t want my kids addicted to it before they are even teenage years. I know I’ll have to give in more as they get older but honestly they have to have time to be kids and not become zombies in front of a screen. So just sharing my two cents, everyone is different the main thing is do what works for you, do what feels right for you! There are a lot of studies on screen time and kids. So just take some time to figure out what your feelings are and maybe have that conversation with your husband, ect so they can be on the same page and it won’t make you feel so anxious. Good luck!!

  • Katie
    Nov 21

    I think the most important thing is to not let screen time be the default. I regularly witness people who hand over their phone at the slightest delay or inconvenience. Going to a restaurant? Phone. Waiting at the doctor? Phone. Riding in the car? Phone. Slightest bit of wait for mom/dad? Phone. That type of behavior robs kids of their imagination and downtime. Instead of letting them have free thinking and daydreaming you are constantly feeding them “lessons” or what to think. I regularly hear my girls chatting about fun clouds they see or weird signs when we’re driving. I look at screens as a reward for good behavior not a bandaid or preventative to bad behavior. When my daughter has been good and eaten her dinner she gets some iPad play or a TV show in the evenings. Neither of my kids has ever touched my phone while it was unlocked (the one likes to take pics from the lock screen). As soon as she throws attitude when the time limit is up then it goes away for a whole week. Was it painful at first? Yup. But now I regular get compliments when we go out in public over how well the kids behave. I don’t look at it as controlling, just not letting it become a big part of our lives. Kids don’t need constant stimulation and it’s better if they don’t have it. This is just my 2 cents but I think ur spot on to try and reduce screen time.

  • Beverly Vantine
    Nov 21

    My two quick takes: 1. Come to an agreement with your husband, write it on a piece of paper, and stick to it. My 4yo wakes up at 630am everyday, and I refuse to move that early on a Saturday/Sunday. And since he's in pre-k, he needs something to do in the morning while dad and I get ready for work. (and also while we are getting diner ready). So the agreement is 630-830 in the morning max, 515-6 when we get home, and if he's been good, he gets an extra 30 minutes. It is way more than I want, less than what my son and husband thin, but it's the agreement, and it works. Stick to it. If it's a rainy weekend or he's sick, we'll allow a little more time. 2. Under no circumstances should you give a kid that's pitching a fit what they want. If it's bad at 16month, I can assure you it'll be worse at 2, worse at 4, and waaaay worse at 14. Once you or dad say something, that's it. Period. Throw the biggest tantrum in the world, don't care, still not getting what you want. We've done htis since he was itty bitty, and I swear our kids tantrums last no longer than a minute and aren't bad at all because he KNOWS it's not going to work. If she pitches a fit for 5 minutes and you give in, well, you just sportively reinforced that if she freaks out for 5+ minutes she'll eventually get what she wants. It's hard at first, but after the 3rd time it'll click.

  • Nana
    Nov 21

    I think you are doing a great job. My heart breaks when I see all kids on devices as baby sitters. I love “Little Baby Bum” or similar for a few minutes each day. The biggest issue is what they see you and others doing. Put devices away. But I think dad is ok once in a while to enjoy a movie with his girl. Maybe you could decide together on what it is. Daniel Tiger is great. Looking at pics of family is fine if you are enjoying memories and talking about them, but limit the time. Preschoolers on devices are lacking fine motor skills and social skills. This is my observation from teaching preschool over the years. Keep it up momma you are doing well.

  • Mar
    Nov 21

    I do the same as you! The less Screen Time the better! I wish more people did this, they’re gonna have enough screen time once They start school as is 💗🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Z
    Nov 21

    Not too controlling, IMO. You aren’t hurting your child or anyone else, so anyone who judges you can be ignored.

  • Madeleine
    Nov 21

    Do whatever feels right to you and your husband! I've been super controlling about my kids' screen time, and it's been amazing for us (so far). My reasons sound similar to yours: I am addicted to mindless technology, and I don't want my kids to follow down the same path. Until age 2 we did no screen time at all except video chats with family. I've been very happy with our choice of no screens. I feel like mild boredom has encouraged their imaginations and increased their attention spans. Instead of screens, I played them educational music to learn their abc's, numbers, and days of the week, which worked really well. Then at age 2 we started using images and short videos to expose them to interesting stuff about the world a few times a week. The best part about no screens is that when/if you do later introduce screens in moderation, they will be fascinated by whatever you show them, even if it's just a picture of the Eiffel tower or a video of penguins swimming underwater. Our kids probably watch a total of 10-30 minutes of YouTube videos per week, mostly nature videos and marble machines, and for us that's just the right amount. As we show them videos I always narrate what's happening and ask and answer questions, to make sure they are understanding what they are seeing. I can't tell you how much I enjoy and treasure this way of interacting with my kids. Really, there is no wrong answer. Just do what feels right for your family!

  • Stacey
    Nov 21

    My son just turned 2. We do watch YouTube but it almost always kids music videos and we always watch so we know what is being shown. It’s about a hour or so during most days. More on the weekend. Or if he is getting restless at a restaurant YouTube on the phone can sometimes help. He doesn’t quite like non music shows but might watch half an episode of Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger. We also have a old iPad that I downloaded some kid apps on. He will bring it to me sometimes so I can unlock it and get him to his folder. Then he picks the app, will play for maybe 10 minutes then give the iPad back to me and he is off the play with something else. He is pretty much regulating his own screen time so that’s great.

  • Lindsey
    Nov 22

    I have my first on the way, so I can't speak from experience yet, but my husband and I have already talked about screen time. My plan is to raise her like I was raised and to be a good example when I'm around her. My first thing will be no videos on the phone (except now that you mention it, showing her videos of herself sounds fun and harmless.) I am ok with some TV shows occasionally, because I know I loved sesame street on the weekend mornings when I was a kid, but ONLY occasionally. I don't watch TV too much myself, so I don't see it being a hard rule to stick to. Keeping videos on the TV also limits it to when we're home, and only in the living room. We don't have TVs in our bedrooms. My second plan is to limit my own interaction with my phone while I'm around her. I plan to keep it out of sight, out of mind. Kids always want to mimic what they see their parents doing, so I'm sure if I have my phone out, she'll want to reach for it too. You sound like you're doing a great job!! I have lots of friends with little kids and they all tell me I'll cave and give my kids the phone because it makes their lives so much easier, but I think it's really important not to do that. Good job not taking the easy way out! Don't be hard on yourself.

  • Vonda
    Thursday

    You are not too controlling. But just make sure you and your husband are on the same page. We don’t do screens for our son either. I show him photos and he FaceTimes with his grandparents. But no tv or movies. I don’t put tv on in the background. Just music or read aloud. It’s hard for us to not do something we do all the time in this day and age. It took me a while to purge it out of my system and not check my phone all the time. My son has seen one movie and I was ok with it because it was something I knew was real life (not animated), didn’t have violence, no language and no one died. Not even a slap on the face. Lol. And I needed to watch something. Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly. It’s good to find a balance. Does she need screen time. Absolutely not. But it is up to you. Just make sure you are on the same page with all caregivers and parents involved. Cause trust me it’s really annoying when you say no screen time and your mother decides it’s fine if it’s a documentary. (Not frustrated at all) 🤦‍♀️