Thursday, November 26, 2015

Screen Diet

Using the smart board at school
I read an article lately which suggested that too much screen time can cause kids to have behaviour issues that look a lot like ADHD. I'm a bit skeptical, but it got me thinking. I have noticed that the days Linnaeus watches more videos, his behaviour is worse. Especially when we're trying to peel him away from the screen.

He wasn't watching a ton of shows--we don't have a TV, it was just a few 12-minute episodes of Chirp, Pingu, or whatever on the laptop. But it was usually every day. & some days, when I was more tired, it was several hours.

So I thought we'd try a month with no screen time for him at home. He does get a little at school--how much depends on if you could smart board use--but we've cut him off, cold turkey, from Youtube & the occasional app on my phone.

The funny thing is, though he used to watch hours a week of videos on the laptop & scream bloody murder when it was shut off, he doesn't seem to miss it & hasn't asked to watch anything in the past week or two we've been doing this. I didn't make a big deal out of it, I just stopped offering, & that was it.

I'm not sure his behaviour overall is any different, but we don't have the screeching fit that ensues when we're trying to pry him away from the laptop & feed him dinner, so there's that.

Trouble is, I know that a lot of kid culture comes down through TV & I don't want him to feel totally left out when his friend are talking about superheros or cartoon characters & he has no idea what they mean. So I doubt we'll keep him away from watching shows forever. Also, I'd like to start watching movies together as a family a few times a month, maybe some of the cheesy Christmas ones in the next month or so.

Luckily, my friend Allison shared this useful article on Facebook: How to Take a Screen Away from your Kid Without a Raging Meltdown. I'll be trying some of those tactics when we bring back the boob tube for the kid.

What about you? Do you have any challenges with screen time & your kids? How do you manage your kids' computer/tablet/TV/phone use? 

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  1. Our 3.5 year old is the same - too much screen time makes him a raging zombie. We've set a limit of TV only on Friday evenings, with cocoa and popcorn, to make it an event. We also let him watch some on weekend mornings while we make a fancier breakfast, but we try to keep him out of the house and active as much as possible on weekends so it doesn't become a default thing.

    1. Raging zombie! Ha! I was thinking about introducing a little screen time back that way--friday family movie nights. It's the perfect time of year with all the holiday movies out there. :)

  2. I'm so glad you liked my post on how to avoid screentime meltdowns! Thanks for sharing it.


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