Find out why I don’t limit screen time

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Screen time. The scourge of modern society. We’ve all seen the articles. Our children will grow up with small brains. They will be unsocialised. Our children will talk less than the previous generation. On and on the articles go. All sharing the studies and evidence that our children will basically become stunted by their addiction to tablets or screen time. Today I want to talk to you about why I don’t limit screen time and I rarely feel guilty about it!

Why I don't limit screen time

Now before I talk to you more about why I don’t limit screen time I want to share the truth with you. I do stop my daughter sitting on her tablet before bed. I also don’t allow my daughter to take her tablet out when we head to visit family or go on a day out. I’m sure that this could count as limiting screen time so I want to get that out the way from the off! Also, the tablet my daughter uses doesn’t have particularly long-lasting battery life, so sometimes a lack of battery limits her screen time.

It would be hypocritical of me to limit screen time

I work from home. Online. I’m often found with my iPhone in my hand or a MacBook on both knees. Working on the move is something I also do too, and thus I need to look at screens a lot. Whether it is checking my email, speaking to a client on the phone or dealing with a website downtime issue I’m never far from my phone. I think it would be very hypocritical of me to tell my daughter that screen time is the Devil and tell her why she can’t use it. Probably from behind my MacBook screen! 

We don’t take the tablet outside our home

When we leave home we don’t take the tablet. While I do take my mobile phone out I try and avoid working beyond a couple of minutes per hour. I may check my emails when we are in the car, or I may answer a work call if I need to. Apart from that I try and set a good example to my daughter by not using my phone continually when visiting relatives or enjoying a day out. Being present, and live in the moment, is important to me and I want Daisy to learn how enjoyable it is engaging with people face to face.

The tablet helps my daughter to learn

So far, with the help of the tablet, Daisy has learned to recognise 20+ numbers and every letter of the alphabet. She has learned a vast array of songs and tunes, that she now uses to make up her own songs. The tablet has definitely helped Daisy to learn and it is more than just numbers and letters. Recently Daisy hasn’t been sleeping well and has been feeling nervous at night. We have been able to find songs on YouTube that sing about this topic and help to reassure her. Also, there are lots of videos that are designed to help little ones to process their vast array of emotions and understand why they happen.

My sanity is intact (just!) by not having a limit on screen time

Sometimes I need a break. Daisy is a very smart girl, and as such, she spends almost all of her day asking to help me with every chore I complete, or wanting to work with me if I need to get work done. I’m happy to oblige and help her learn, but sometimes I need a break. Whether it is 5 minutes for a shower, a quick call with a client or even just a catch up with a friend I’m grateful for the tablet. Not having to limit screen time means that Daisy can sit on her tablet and I can enjoy a catch-up with a friend at a time that is convenient for us both.

We can bond while using the tablet together

There are lots of ways that Daisy and I can enjoy the tablet together. Recently we have been playing games on Cbeebies together. Also, we use the tablet to find activities to complete offline. I am able to look for new recipes with Daisy and ask her which one she wants to try. Also, we’ve found a LOT of great craft activities too. This really helps Daisy to feel involved and sometimes we can spend an entire afternoon together just finding recipes, shopping for ingredients and getting our cook on!

I meet my daughter’s needs while she is on the tablet

Part of the reason children can have behavioural issues when they use a tablet is that their needs are not being met. Daisy would probably happily sit on the tablet all day with barely a snack or a drink passing her lips. However, I make sure we have regular snack times and lots of drinks throughout the day too. This means that when it is time for Daisy to put the tablet down and enjoy something else she’s not starving, hungry or needing her bum changed. This definitely helps her mood when I explain that we are going to put the tablet on charge now and enjoy some crafts or prepare dinner together.

For me I think to limit screen time would just put another unnecessary bit of pressure on myself. Some days Daisy won’t use the tablet at all. On other days she may use it for 2 or 3 hours throughout the day. I always make sure that we spend lots of time together, enjoy crafts and lots of activities and she doesn’t just sit like a zombie all day. I don’t think many parents need to limit screen time really as I’m sure we are all capable of knowing what is enough for our child on any given day.

Next time you see someone at a restaurant, with a child on a tablet, avoid that judgemental comment. Maybe it is the first time their child has been on the tablet for days. Maybe the parent just needs 10 minutes peace to allow them to FINALLY enjoy a hot meal. It’s very easy to make judgements about other parents, or startup comparison syndrome, but we are all just treading water half the time!

Want to check out other parenting posts now you know why I don’t limit screen time?

Finding me time as a parent

My first as a parent – how it really went!

9 things to do during nap-time to help the rest of your day run smoother

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Why I don't limit screen time #parenting #screentime #tablets #toddlers #childhood #technology

16 Responses

  1. Kim Carberry January 29, 2019 / 1:59 pm

    With my youngest I don’t limit screen time because she will have 10 minutes on her tablet then go and play with something else. She doesn’t spend all day on electronics but my teen would given the chance! She wouldn’t eat or drink if I didn’t make her put her tablet/laptop down. She has 2 hours on a school day and 3 on a weekend.
    I don’t judge anyone when it comes to using electronics. Each to their own. x

    • katykicker January 30, 2019 / 12:10 pm

      Yeah I’m sure when Daisy is a teen it’ll be a different story for us! x

  2. Sonia Cave January 29, 2019 / 5:08 pm

    I liked what you said about then you see a child with a screen, do not judge as you so d not know what is or has been going on!! Great points you make. I have rather avoided the whole issue by not having any tablets in our home at all….not a conscious choice, they’ve just never happened. We’ve also never got round to getting the tv plugged in properly since moving to Sweden, sad but we can’t be bothered to work out all the options in Swedish!!

    • katykicker January 30, 2019 / 12:10 pm

      Oh that sounds like bliss! I hope you’re enjoying Sweden x

  3. Sabina Green January 29, 2019 / 6:14 pm

    I don’t limit it either, I just try and make sure they are off it by a certain time in the evenings so they can properly wind down. I agree each to their own and who are we to judge!?

    • katykicker January 30, 2019 / 12:11 pm

      I think that’s a really good idea. It’s important to wind down before bed.

  4. Laura Dove January 29, 2019 / 10:15 pm

    I think it’s all about what works for you! I limit my kids screen time just because if I didn’t, they’d be on it way too much!

    • katykicker January 30, 2019 / 12:12 pm

      I think once they get older it probably becomes more of an issue as they find more interesting things to watch!

  5. Sonia January 30, 2019 / 9:13 am

    Personally I set screen time limits on the kids iPads because if I didn’t I would be far too lazy to monitor it – the kids know when their iPads switch off and they work around it. They plan when to do their homework and their piano lessons so they cam get the most out of their screen time. I’ve no idea who’s right and who’s wrong or if anyone is… but I have absolutely no judgement whatsoever because we are all just trying to get through each day the best we can being the best parents we can be.

    • katykicker January 30, 2019 / 12:12 pm

      Sounds like you’ve found a great balance for your family and I try to avoid judgement for the same reason x

  6. Jenni January 30, 2019 / 11:33 pm

    We don’t strictly limit screen time, but sometimes we make the boys take a break if they’ve been in front of a screen too long in one stretch and we can see it affecting them (one of my boys gets really flushed, the other gets really fidgety).

    • katykicker February 6, 2019 / 1:37 pm

      I think it’s just about knowing your own children really isn’t it! x

  7. Wendy January 31, 2019 / 7:37 am

    I don’t limit screen time and I agree with all your reasons not to. My boys learn loads from playing different games on the tablet and f I didn’t let them watch tv sometimes my house would never be clean. We have lots of screen free time together too, going outside or playing and doing crafts so I don’t feel guilty when they do use it.xx

    • katykicker February 6, 2019 / 1:37 pm

      Yeah we do lots of nice things together too, I think that’s the key isn’t it!

  8. Vicky February 2, 2019 / 12:02 pm

    This is so me right now so thanks for sharing! My toddler is into TV but I make sure it’s not on in the background if we’re doing something else! He used to throw a paddy when I turned it off but now he even asks for it to be turned off when I suggest an activity he likes!

    • katykicker February 6, 2019 / 1:49 pm

      Ahh that sounds good! Sounds like you’re getting the balance right x

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