Screen time. Should it be limited?
This, I find, is such a controversial topic! You could be anywhere on a scale of ‘no screen time’ to ‘screen time as much as they want’ or somewhere in the middle.
Screen time can be anything from watching TV to playing on an iPad or on a smart phone to using a games console.
We were very lucky that Alfie was never interested in watching TV for the first eighteen months of his life, so I didn’t even have to consider how much screen time to allow him until recently.
We were sat in the hairdressers whilst Alfie was having his first hair cut and he hated it. He was wriggling, crying and it was a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t know why I thought of it or if it would work but I put a Peppa Pig episode on YouTube on my phone in the hope that he would calm down and the hairdresser could continue cutting his hair. It worked!
It also then made him hooked on Peppa Pig and watching it on the iPad or Daddy’s phone! Now some days I think it is a blessing in disguise. As parents we have jobs to be doing and we all know that toddlers have a tendency to get in the way… Which inevitably they do! So it can definitely be a blessing when you have to make dinner or sort the washing and your little one can sit and watch something they want to whilst you get it done.
It wasn’t something that we planned on letting him do a lot, but with an impending trip to Paris we knew we had to do/get something that would entertain and keep him still on a plane for an hour. We downloaded some CBeebies games and two series of Peppa Pig.
It was the best £11 I’ve ever spent!
We had a great flight and it even came in handy when we were waiting in 45 minute queues for rides at Disneyland.
Is it worth it?
He does now ask to watch Peppa every day. But I do limit it a little bit. He always watches it first thing in the morning whilst we all have cuddles in bed or whilst we get ready for work. If he is tired in the evenings and he doesn’t want to play then he can watch it. I will say no to him watching it in the afternoons if I can help it.
I would much rather us play together with his toys, or us go out for the afternoon, but if we have jobs to do I don’t have a problem with it. We meet him in the middle too as he has just started to take an interest in Dan’s Wii U. Dan is obviously delighted!
We were recently asked to review an app called ‘Happy Band’ by Appelsin. It is a musical animal app that is also educational. Alfie loved it! Sometimes screen time doesn’t mean them sitting there and zoning out. It can be educational and exciting for them to learn in a different way. We have the CBeebies games app. Whilst he’s quite young for that I can imagine that he will love it when he’s a bit bigger!
I guess you could say that I’m in the middle on the screen time scale… I’m a bit like that with most things in life to be honest. If it becomes a problem I will look at the amount of time he spends having screen time and reassess. However, until then I’m happy plodding along.
Do you limit screen time? Are there particular occasions or times of the day you let them have screen time? Are you a strict no screen time parent? I’m interested to see which way this will go with you guys!
Mummy Fox xx