We go over our screen time limits, and I don’t feel guilty

It’s Wednesday! My little loves are sleep before 9pm! I have a glass of Moscato! My fuzzy socks are on, and now it’s time for mamas alone time! Ahhh! Every now and then, mother’s will message me(FYI I love when you guys do)and asked how I manage my little loves screen time(tablets and television). I thought it’d be a great topic to write about. This mama approves of screen time, and if we go over our limit, no trip! In my opinion, if you’re on top of what your little love watches and plays, and the screen time is healthy/beneficial, then why not let them have extra screen time. I’m two kids in and screen time has done us some good. I’ll let you know why, but first let’s talk about this. I’m sure we’ve all come in contact with that ONE parent (or person with ZERO kids) who tried to make you feel bad about your decision with the amount of screen time you let your little love have. My response to that...do what’s in the best interest of your family. The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) in the UK recently released its first guidance on screen time, and found it was "impossible to recommend age-appropriate time limits" because "there is not enough evidence to confirm that screen time is in itself harmful to child health at any age." Again, do what’s in the best interest of you and your family. When it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters. You’re not failing as a parent because you don’t fit into the “mold” of what “researchers” or “wannabe researchers” have an opinion about. If you’re constantly trying to live up to the “perfect parent” role, you’ll never win. Make decisions that’s comfortable for you and yours. Remember, mama knows best. 

Why I don’t feel guilty about going over screen time:

Educational shows 

My little loves aren’t in daycare/school yet. Although we’re constantly learning using books, my home lessons, puzzles, etc. I find that educational shows work great too. The music, brightness, and characters keep them focused a little longer. Most times they want to watch certain episodes over, which I don’t mind because they’re learning. 

Bonding 

Family time and movie nights are very important in our household. It’s pretty much one of our critical bonding times. We sometimes watch more than one movie, and even binge watch the little loves favorite tv shows. Although I could go without seeing another “Spirt” episode or “Trolls: The Beat Goes On episode” but hey, those moments you can’t get back. 

Learning while using technology 

As for tablets—I don’t even know where to begin. There’s so much room for learning, development and fun. Like, e-books, problem solving games, learning new skills, exploring, creating music, writing, their convenient and light. Apps serve a purpose. Do your research on the best toddler/kid-friendly apps. Especially ones that lead to stronger learning. These apps are motivating, fun, colorful, and interactive. Children respond to activity-based programming when it’s specifically designed for them, fun, and encourages participation, imagination and imitation. I’ll also add that technology is continuing to develop and change how we do certain things, including the way we educate and teach our little loves. 

Mama needs a minute 

If turning their favorite show or movie on for a bit gets them quiet and calm, so I can recharge, it’s worth it. Let’s call it the mama sanity-saver. 

Here’s how I manage and stay on top of screen time and tablets:

Parental settings

Choose only trusted apps, contacts, shows, games. You can always set content filters to control what your little love sees on their device. Keep tabs and get alerts on their location, and pause access if need be. You guys know I’m the queen of a daily activity(paint, cook, go outdoors, etc.) with parental controls you can determine what times of day they can use their tablet. This way they know the difference between tablet free-play and activity time.