Posted in Activities & Enrichment, TV, Movies, & Video Games

Screen time? Too much? Not enough?

Cj

I’ve read the articles and I think I understand why most studies show that too much screen time can be disabling to children. However, I believe that it can be a useful tool to their growing brains as well. Of course, if done in moderation. He’s only 3 and my wife and I are very conscious of how much TV, phone, tablet or video games he can have or have access too, but I’m curious. What do other parents think is too much screen time? And as they get older are they allowed more? Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday

    If you read the articles and understand what the studies' findings are, there wouldn't be a "but/however" following that statement, or a "belief" to the contrary :p Screen time younger than 2 only represents missed opportunities to learn. It doesn't disable a child or make him dumber; it just is a missed opportunity to improve. After 2, there are *some* media that can be beneficial in limited quantity, when accompanied by parental/caregiver reinforcement. Amended - agree with below, original post was incomplete. Our kiddo is hasn't quite hit 2 yr yet and thus does not watch TV. The only screentime our kiddo really gets is once or twice a week, a 2-4 min musical video on youtube that reinforces the new words we're teaching our kiddo that week. Once our kid is your kid's age, my partner and I still plan on no TV/screentime except for video shorts that reinforce vocubulary. No TV nanny for us. We try to involve kiddo in most everything we're doing, and in cases where that isnt feasible or appropriate, those are great opportunities for kiddo to enjoy some time w books or improve self-play skills, listen to music, bang on an instrument, etc.

  • Cj
    Wednesday

    Thanks, but you didn’t answer my question. :p I know what is suggested, but I was hoping for a parents option on the subject. I feel that where ever I go or whoever I talk to, the facts are being ignored. Sure it should be set to a minimum and be supervised, but does that really happen? I know what I do in my household, but I was just curious what other do. Thanks.

  • PK
    Wednesday

    My son is 2.5. We do about 2.5 hrs to 3 hrs of screen time a day on average. Some times less and some times more. On sick days we do a lot more though. When he’s sick, he’s really sick and doesn’t want to do anything else. Like you, we believe that certain media (shows and games) can be beneficial to them. He loves puzzle games and we are finding that certain shows he enjoys are educational.. because he will look to us and talk about it and point stuff out. To me... anything more than 3 hrs is too much just because that’s what we max out at. We are planning to keep it that way for as long as possible. Maybe until jr high then we may negotiate for a max of 4 hrs 🤷🏻‍♀️ we will see.

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday

    My daughter probably watches an hour a day. Most of the time she runs around and plays while the TV is on. All of it is nursery rhymes. By 1 years old she knew all of her colors and shapes. She will be two in October. She knows all of her animals and their sounds, including coyotes, owls, and several others. She speaks in full sentences. She has learned and can recognize her numbers and letters (1-9, a-z) and can count to 20. Everywhere we go people comment on how smart she is and the two pediatricians shes had have been shocked with her development. Shes already reaching the milestones of 3 and 4 year olds. The TV started around 9 months old. My parents started showing it to her and I was angry. But I saw what fun she was having and let it go. The songs she watched on TV we sing. We talk to her about what she has watched and play with her. Not every single second of a child's awake time has to be having learning shoved down their throat. I couldn't be more proud of how well my daughter has developed and if other parents want to crap on me for that little bit of screen time then so be it. In her first year I was strict on not wanting her to watch TV. I felt that every moment we needed to be reading, doing an activity, etc. I was working and going to school full time, the only help I received was when my parents babysat. Life became extremely stressful and started to effect my bond with her. I started showing her TV, about 20 minutes a day. Just having that small amount of time to relax with her was amazing. We would talk about what she was watching and she loved it. For example when old McDonald came on, we'd talk about the farm animals. The names, sounds they make, color they are, where they live, etc. So basically what I'm saying is it depends on how screen time is used. For kids under age 5an hour is enough. More if the child is sick. Under 10 I'd say two hours. Once they hit teenage years it gets a bit blurred. For the most part I never wat had TV. Some days if watch a couple hours. Other days would be a whole day of TV.

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday

    I'm not going to lie, we're very lax with TV time in our house. I'm a sahm. My son is 27 months and he asks for the news to be turned on every morning. He also gets to watch an episode of a show after we take the dog for a walk and he eats breakfast. Then the TV is off until my husband gets home from work. I could have it off all day, but my husband has to have it on for background noise. Yes, he watches educational shows, but we don't cater our lives entirely around kids shows. I'm sure that's not going to sit well with a lot of people. He loves The Big Bang Theory, The Goldbergs, Scrubs, etc. I take my son different places pretty much every day - playground, aquarium, zoo, library, playdates, grocery store, etc. I feel like all the playing and experiences from these excursions balance everything out. Most of the time in the evening he's playing around the house and not really watching the TV anyway. He's on par with his development so I don't beat myself up over it.

  • PK
    Wednesday

    @anonymous - it’s the same way in our house! When my husband gets home, the tv comes on.

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday

    We don't have dedicated screen time. We do watch tv sometimes when he's around and he runs to the tv and dances when a certain song comes on and goes back to his toys after. Same if something catches his attention, he'll watch and point at it and say "mom, cow!" and then goes on playing. He is not used to phones or other hand held devices. we did try not to get him used to it but were not overly strict on it either. He just wasn't that interested in it. At least till now. He would watch a rhyme or cartoon or nat geo for few minutes and then wander off. He loves being outside. Hell breaks loose sometimes if he doesn't get his playtime outdoors. So there's that. Lol. But development wise he is on track I think. Knows his numbers (1-10), and the alphabet song, shapes but not all colors. Can't recognize numbers and alphabets yet but we didn't try teaching him yet. Makes sentences in 2 languages (we speak 2 languages at home other than English, so his English is not that great). So, I don't think no screentime would cause any delay or set the kid back compared to their peers. I think kids learn very fast. So even if they are not exposed to technology at early age, by preschool or kindergarten they will pick it up from friends or even through school (since they give iPads at school now). I personally don't think 1-2 hours a day of screen time would do any harm and no screen time would have any adverse effects either. Doesn't answer your question well but i just wanted to put it out there.

  • Angelica
    Thursday

    I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant with an almost 2-year-old and honestly I just try to make sure she's not watching garbage. We watch a lot of PBS kids--Sesame Street, Super Why, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Curious George, Barney, and Clifford are her current faves--but no time on phones or iPad. We also love books, coloring, puzzles, music and dancing, and imaginative play. And she's recently become more interested in watching me cook, so we pull up a chair or stool for her to watch.

  • A
    Thursday

    It depends on the day, but we are somewhat lax on the rules too. My 3yr old twins probably watch an average of 2hrs a day. We try to stick to high quality stuff, PBS kids I great. We deleted YouTube from every device we own. 😂 I know the studies say it’s bad but I think for us, it is a little bit of a sanity saver. Usually we ll have the tv on in the morning while I let caffeine hit my blood stream ;) And again mid day as we use it for afternoon rest/down time. Also, gives me a chance to get the house together a bit at that time. We too are an anything goes when we are sick so it’s probably on most of the day on sick days. I think as long as you are finding balance, we spend a lot of time playing outside and doing other things too.

  • Stay-At-Home Dan
    Saturday

    Honestly just do what is best for your kid. My daughter watches too much some days and other days she doesn’t watch at all. Like previous posts, she is hitting milestones above her age. She is only 22 months and already into advance things like the life cycle of a butterfly and outer space (Thanks to The Cat in the Hat!) You have to be the one to monitor their screen and determine what is too much. I was really paranoid in the beginning but it was just too stressful. Just make sure he gets some enrichment like going to children museums, Aquariums, getting plenty of outside time and reading. I make sure to read several books throughout the day as well as doing a few diy projects like foam dough or water sensory buckets. Just allow him to take in as many facts and information as possible. Hope this helps.