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Am I A Grinch With Screen Time

June 6, 2010

I have a confession to make. I am a total meanie when it comes to “screen time” for the kids.  By that, I mean time that they spend in front of a screen: television, cell phone, video game or a computer. Whatever makes their eyes glaze over, I want to curtail the usage of it.  I want them to be reading or creating or playing.  You know… playing.  What we did outside for hours on end when we were kids.  Building forts and making up our own games.  Playing for hours at whatever struck our fancy and just happened to pop into our brains.

I do not want them to waste their childhood in front of  a screen.

So I was talking to Keith about this the other day on vacation.  I asked if we could pretty please put a limit on their screen time.We discuss this each year around the time that the bathing suits get pulled out of storage.  And every year, we let it slide and don’t restrict anyone’s anything time.  It’s easier that way. But I mean it this year. Really mean it.

Keith’s offer?

Four hours.

Before he gets home from work.

I was thinking like an hour a day per child.  Period.  Maybe two since they do own two hour movies.  I even had a little bonus bargaining tool in mind too.  If they wanted to “buy” an hour of screen time, they could be active for an extra half an hour a day.  Yes, I am totally serious.  Bicycling,walking, being my workout partner for one of my videos 🙂 or even using the elliptical if they so desired.  Just something to get them moving more than they normally do in a normal day.  Keith and I are trying to figure out how to start a Family Fitness Plan and that would be a good start, wouldn’t it?

He thinks they have approximately 14 hours from the time they get up until they time they go to bed and that four hours out of that (plus the additional screen time they get if we go to bed early) time isn’t that much screen time.

I think four hours is way too long and there are many other things they could be doing instead of rotting away their minds on the screen like, oh I don’t know…. sewing a quilt (Emily quilts when she “has time”), creating a piece of pottery (Katie got a pottery wheel for her birthday that she still hasn’t used yet) or reading (Abby commented the other day that she had forgotten how much she enjoyed reading for pleasure because of all the required reading she has had to do this past year in school).

But, at the same time, if you read my previous post about our generic summer schedule, you know that I have planned a lot of things out for our summer and perhaps you are thinking, Come on Mom!  Let the kids have a break, what’s four hours of screen time?

So, help me out – am I being a grinch or not?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2010 5:15 pm

    It could be that your head isn’t screwed on quite right.
    It could be, perhaps, that your shoes are too tight.
    But I think that the most likely reason of all
    May be that your heart is two sizes too small.

    OK – THREE hours of screen time before 6:00pm……

  2. June 6, 2010 5:22 pm

    Ok i have to speak up on this one,lol. You know that we do not have television. However lil and I watch way too much tv via netflix on the wii. I would love to put a limit on her time but I can’t do that unless i limit mine as well. And honestly it would be a good thing to do. I think no matter what you decide, if you are following the same rules they are. Then you are fine. HTH

  3. Bibliophile Babe permalink
    June 6, 2010 5:36 pm

    Hmmm Jessi – you have a point there. I am going to have to be willing to disconnect myself from the laptop to have the right to tell them to disconnect themselves from the tv. But give me enough craft supplies and Boredom Bucket ideas and I think I will be ok.

    Man – you write me poetry. How sweet.
    How about two and they can earn the third with physical exertion?

  4. June 6, 2010 6:13 pm

    Hehhehe, yeah I am going to have to do it for Lil and I as well. Which is hard considering my serious internet addiction. UGH. WHy is doing the right thing always hard?

  5. Bibliophile Babe permalink
    June 6, 2010 9:35 pm

    Because it makes us better people. 😉

  6. June 7, 2010 1:59 pm

    Heh I keep telling myself that, but it does not help me to clean any faster….. 😉

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