The One Rule Every Parent Needs To Help Manage Screen Time #pbloggers

Do you worry about the amount of screen time your kids have?  It’s something that definitely niggles at me sometimes, as my children are very fond of using the iPad for their entertainment.  They enjoy playing games on the tablet as well as watching YouTube.  What is is with those unboxing videos they love so much?  Another favourite in our house is My Little Pony make up tutorials.  My kids will watch those for hours.  I guess it’s no different to me watching how to make fancy cakes.  I will probably never make a Minion cake, but I’m fascinated with how they get them to look so good.

One Rule Every Parent Needs To Help Manage Screen Time | How much screen time should kids have | Tips for managing screen time

I’m mainly happy with the amount of screen time my children have as I feel they have balance in their lives.  They are not using the iPad every minute of every day, and they enjoy a variety of other interests.  We also do a lot of activities and days out as a family so there is plenty of time away from screens.

We seem to have adopted away of managing their screen time that works for us as a family.  So far it seems to be working, and when I sat and thought about what was happening, I realised that an unspoken rule had emerged and I’m keen that we follow this approach as the girls grow up.  We want to create good habits and lifestyle choices and I think this approach is going to work, but there is no denying that it’s going to get harder to enforce as they get older.  Using this screen time rule will give us good foundations to work from though.

kid watching tablet

The screen time rule is ‘we only use tablets when we are …….’ and insert what works for your family here.  For our family, the rule is the children only use the iPad at home with parents present.  It’s not something that has been verbalised to the children yet, but I’m sure there will come a day when it will need to be.  Sometimes, these kind of rules are the best kind as if the children don’t realise there is a boundary in place, then they don’t necessarily push against it.

We don’t take the iPad out of the house if we are going out to a restaurant or activity.   We haven’t used the tablet on train journeys or road trips.  They don’t have them in their bedrooms, and they tend not to use them before getting ready for bed.

If we are relaxing at home, we don’t particularly see any harm in them using the tablet for a short time for their entertainment.  They play with a range of toys and games, and the iPad is a feature amongst many things that they do.

burger and chips

When we are going out of the house for a meal or day out, we see this as an opportunity to engage as a family.  We want to be able to talk to each other without being distracted by technology, so it’s never dawned on us to take the iPad with us.  We do know that sometimes kids get bored, but we have a toy or colouring book ready for them to use when this happens.

If the tablet started to creep into other areas of our life, I think it would become very difficult for us to manage their screen time.  Saying no to using the tablet would start to become a difficult conversation if the boundaries became blurred.  Having one clear boundary that the tablet doesn’t leave the house works well for us.  We also wouldn’t substitute a tablet for Mummy or Daddy’s mobile phone, as this would be incredibly muddy waters.  Screen time is for at home, and we entertain ourselves in different ways when we are out of the house.  Is this something that could work for you?

How do you manage your children’s screen time?

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13 Comments

  1. MARGARET gallagher
    July 7, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    Gosh my neices and nephews would play all day on them
    I insist on banning Tec when we’re watching a film it eating and it’s not allowed at bedtime

  2. Kayleigh Watkins
    July 8, 2017 / 7:20 am

    My children are the same,Connor is 12 and would happily play on his Xbox all day if I let him and Megan is 5 next month and loves her tablet, this is a great idea xxx

  3. Diane Wareing
    July 8, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    My granddaughters would spend hours on them if they were allowed. And yes, they love the un-boxing things ! However, I, like you, will watch hours of cake videos & recipe videos and then NEVER get around to making any of them lol In fact some days I have been known to have to rush a pasta dish because a couple of hours have past while I have been watching how to make some fancy recipe. Ooops.

  4. Susie Wilkinson
    July 9, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I have never allowed technology at the table when we’re eating, but I’m getting amazed at the amount of parents I see in restaurants with their children on tablets all of the way through the meal, as you say, mealtimes are a great time to catch-up as a family, and it’s sad to see this disappear.

  5. Chikumo
    July 18, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Technology really is taking over! I work in a phone shop and kids as young as 2 know how to use phones and tablets!

  6. July 18, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    Our son loves watching these insane lucky surprise egg type videos! But he also likes a lot of the educational apps and games. He tends to have about 10 minutes a day. He’s allowed 5 minutes before his breakfast in the morning and again (though not every day) 5 minutes during the hour before bed time.

    As long as he’s occupied he isn’t too bothered, so we manage his screen time by making sure he has plenty of other things to do.

  7. July 18, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    With my nanny children screen time is limited. One family only really allow 30mins max a day and the other are a bit more flexible but I still like to set a limit. I don’t take the ipads out to restaurants either. I do let them take their leapfrog which has educational games on there. The leapfrog only comes out if the little one starts getting VERY bored and starts to play up.

  8. July 19, 2017 / 8:14 am

    I think this is a really good idea. We only let Lucas use a tablet at home and his Grandmas. I really don’t like seeing children sat in restaurants on their tablets instead of talking with family

  9. Lynne Harper
    July 19, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    My teenagers would happily spend all day on some sort of device. I’m finding it much easier to control the smalls as we have so many other things to do around the house and toys to play with, great post and great ideas x

  10. July 19, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Oh I do struggle with the teens, but try and insist no screens at meal times or if we go out for the day. Easier said than done though! Kaz x
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  11. Jennifer durrans
    July 20, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Mums are superheroes that is for sure! I think I’d struggle with more than one child but great ideas definitely!

  12. July 20, 2017 / 9:22 am

    Interesting topic. I don’t have children myself but studied child development and did a module on “Children and Screen”. I can’t believe the amount of time some children can spend glued to a tablet or television.

    Ami xxx

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