Friday, May 18, 2018

MOM LIFE :: On screen time

Screen time is a hot topic in my house as of late.  My daughter's Amazon Kindle Fire started the debate.  Its original purpose was to get her to read more and to improve her fluency as she started first grade in the fall.  It worked.  For a while.  She still reads books on her kindle but prefers the actual chapter books from the library.

She soon discovered that she could also watch cartoons on her tablet and my youngest picked up on it really fast.  What turned into an occasional cartoon is now a cartoon in the morning during breakfast for both and more screen time for my daughter after dinner.  Having the screen at breakfast has been a life saver with my youngest to be honest.  Just knowing that his favorite cartoon is on downstairs will do wonders with his mood and encourage him to get dressed.  He is also less likely to reject his breakfast.  The mornings can be so hectic with two working parents and young kids that keeping everybody in good spirits is key.

As I watch them in the morning I can't help but realize how much our screen time philosophy has changed.  It's hard to believe that we used to be against TV for kids actually.  It's interesting to see how much kids change you.  I would definitely prefer not to have a screen on during breakfast but this routine just works better, for now.

We have started to set a timer on her Kindle Fire and she has a total of 60 minutes screen time per day.  This triggers disappointment a lot of times when she realizes her time is up but we are hoping to get to that stage when she has a sense of how much time screen time she has left.  It will be a big step in her development and ability to self-regulate and I know we'll get there with time.

Regulating TV time is a lot easier right now.  I can usually distract them with games, snacks or crafts.  But again, it's also tricky in the evening when I am trying to get things ready for the next day and cook dinner.  Sometimes a quick cartoon happens to be the life line that you need.  Friday movies are a standing tradition though.  We get into our pjs after dinner and watch a kid's movie with popcorn.  It's a nice way to unwind as a family after the week.  My eldest is in charge of picking the movie for the week which makes her feel special.

So Mamas of Littles, do you struggle with regulating screen time?  What are your tried and true approaches?  Have you found yourself rethinking your parenting philosophies post-kids too?  Let me know in the comments below!

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