School-Aged Children

Screen Time

How much do your kids get? To me, "screen time" includes computers and video games.

My kids get an hour after school once homework and chores are done, and they usually choose computer. They're into Moshi Monsters and Minecraft. They then get roughly half an hour of TV before bed. They are 6 and 9.

I ask because I'm beginning to wonder if I should cut back on their time. Last night my son laid down on the couch and CRIED because he asked to go back on the computer and I said no. They play well without electronics, typically role play games like school, house, they'll pretend to be animals etc, or build Legos or read. On warmer days they'll play in the yard or we'll go to the park, but we haven't had many of them lately.

Anyway, I'm not concerned about them not knowing how to play at all. I'm concerned that computer/TV is becoming an obsession and if maybe I'm giving them too much screen time and encouraging it.

ETA: After DS got all his tears out, he grabbed a pile of books and read without fussing anymore. Just the fact that he actually cried over not being allowed on the computer shocked me.
 

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Re: Screen Time

  • You're more generous with screen time than Michelle Obama- she's harsh.

    Most experts would suggest an hour a day of combined TV, gaming and/or recreational computer. They also suggest it happen well before bed as the blue light emitted by these devises can interfere with sleep.

    On your son's reaction, maybe he was set on doing something and your "no" came unexpectedly. Perhaps it was exacerbated by being tired or other disappointments during the day that left him feeling a little out of control. That he got it back together is terrific.

    The best approach is to be transparent in your expectations. Perhaps post or discuss a family rule about the use of electronics so everyone is on the same page. When DS was that age, we had time for about an hour or so on school days; like your kids he was able to entertain himself with reading, his model trains and building projects.

    LOL, when Sandy came through, we lost our electronics for about 3 days and let me tell you, I was just as cranky as DS was. DS and I are computer addicts- I have forums and news, DS is all about facebook, forums and youtube sites. DH, who is really into TV, was teasing us both. Joke was on him though, the power surges blew out his cable box and he was "out" another 2 days after we got our connections back.

  • image auntie:
    You're more generous with screen time than Michelle Obama she's harsh.
    Most experts would suggest an hour a day of combined TV, gaming and/or recreational computer. They also suggest it happen well before bed as the blue light emitted by these devises can interfere with sleep.
    On your son's reaction, maybe he was set on doing something and your "no" came unexpectedly. Perhaps it was exacerbated by being tired or other disappointments during the day that left him feeling a little out of control. That he got it back together is terrific.
    The best approach is to be transparent in your expectations. Perhaps post or discuss a family rule about the use of electronics so everyone is on the same page. When DS was that age, we had time for about an hour or so on school days; like your kids he was able to entertain himself with reading, his model trains and building projects.
    LOL, when Sandy came through, we lost our electronics for about 3 days and let me tell you, I was just as cranky as DS was. DS and I are computer addicts I have forums and news, DS is all about facebook, forumsnbsp;and youtube sites. DH, who is really into TV,nbsp;was teasing us both. Joke was on him though, the power surges blew out his cable box and he was "out" another 2 days after we got our connections back.


    Our electronics rule is very clear, I also restate it when they fire up the laptop or turn on the TV, as well as set a timer where they can see.

    I never thought that maybe he was a little tired or had a rough day. He didn't mention anything to me when we talked after school, but its entirely possible.

    We weren't even really in the path of Sandy, we got one night with rain and high winds that ended up being way over hyped, but SD came home from school that day going "I'm going to do my chores really fast and I did my homework at last recess because Miss said we might lose power and I need to check on my Moshlings before that happens!" Lol.
     

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  • My girls get about 1 hour of screen time daily.  1-30 min TV program while I make dinner and then get to play their Leap devices for about 30 minutes or so during the day.
    DD#1 5 years DD#2 3 years
  • My DS is really, really into video games.  He'd seriously go all day if I didn't intervene.  It's only been very recently that he's had the maturity and self control to step away gracefully.  Prior to that, it would result in tears or drama 50% of the time.  The upshot of all this is that we have to have serious structure and limits on screen time.

    We don't watch TV at all.  So we've got that going for us, but my kids still get plenty of screen time between computers and video games.

    Weekdays with no activities: 30 minutes, maybe up to an hour on computer after homework.  

    Weekends:  Kids can play DS in the morning between waking up and breakfast time.  Then in the afternoon they're allowed to take turns on the Wii or PS3.  If it's nice weather, or either one has a friend to hang out with, screen time might be as little as an hour each.  If it's rotten weather and/or no one can come over, they might play for 4 hours in an afternoon, taking turns or playing a 2 player game.

    My kids also play pretend well together, even though my DD is losing interest in this.  However, their first request is always "can I play on the computer?"  If I tell them no, they'll find something else to do. 

    Secondary English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 9th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 4th grade
  • My kids get 1 show in the AM while I get ready for work (20-30m) and get to play their DS or Touch in the car to/from school (about 30-45m each way.) They play or watch tv in the evenings on occassion (based on what time we got home, homework status, etc.)  On the weekend, they do play more video games. I typically allow them to play when they first get up and when we are in the car during the day. And we do a movie some Sat and/or Sun evenings - especially now that it is darker earlier.
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  • I struggle with screen time as well.  I feel like they get way too much on the weekends.  My kids are 9, 7 and 3.  This is mainly for the older two. 

    We don't do any during the week.  No tv, no games, no computers.  On Friday nights they can watch about 1 hr of tv before bed.  

    On weekends we're more laid back and don't really restrict it.  As long as their homework has been done we let them watch the Ipad or tv for an hour or so here and there when we're home.  All in all they probably watch/play about 2 hours each day during the weekend.  It still seems like a lot to me and some days we'll say no more if all they want to do is sit around and watch tv.  

    I really have no answers since some days I feel like mine are addicted too and they don't even really watch that much.   

  • image neverblushed:
    My DS is really, really into video games. nbsp;He'd seriously go all day if I didn't intervene. nbsp;It's only been very recently that he's had the maturity and self control to step away gracefully. nbsp;Prior to that, it would result in tears or drama 50 of the time. nbsp;The upshot of all this is that we have to have serious structure and limits on screen time.We don't watch TV at all. nbsp;So we've got that going for us, but my kids still get plenty of screen time between computers and video games.Weekdays with no activities:nbsp;30 minutes, maybe up to an hour on computer after homework. nbsp;Weekends: nbsp;Kids can play DS in the morning between waking up and breakfast time. nbsp;Then in the afternoon they're allowed to take turns on the Wii or PS3. nbsp;If it's nice weather, or either one has a friend to hang out with, screen time might be as little as an hour each. nbsp;If it's rotten weather and/or no one can come over, they might play for 4 hours in an afternoon, taking turns or playing a 2 player game.My kids also play pretend well together, even though my DD is losing interest in this. nbsp;However, their first request is always "can I play on the computer?" nbsp;If I tell them no, they'll find something else to do.nbsp;


    That is my kids to a T. As soon as they get home they're asking.

    They have no school today and I had to tell them to get the heck out of the house, it's a beautiful day and they are NOT spending it vegging on the couch. I threatened with chores. They went, but I got "ugh, fiiiiiiiiiine" and "will we be allowed on the computer later?" on the way.

    And DH wants to buy them iPads for Christmas! I'm fighting that one. It doesn't bother him like it bothers me.
     

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  • We are also resisting iPads.  It'll just wind up being another video game device -- for $500!  Like my kids need MORE ways to play video games. 

    Secondary English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 9th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 4th grade
  • DD gets less than an hour a day. Way less. She maybe watches 30 minutes of TV every other day during the week. She uses the computer for school stuff and voice practice, but other than that she very rarely is on the computer. We're actually buying her a computer for Christmas, so I assume she'll be on it more, but still not every day. 

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  • My kids are 5 and 4, so a little younger than yours which may make a difference. DS is in full day kindergarten and DD is in preschool 3 mornings/week.

    They watch one show after dinner. They both like to play games on my phone but don't do that every day and when they do I limit it to 15 minutes at a time. 

    DD also watches one show in the afternoon after preschool. She also plays on my phone sometimes while we wait in line to pick up DS from school but that is 15 minutes once a week or so. 

    They do not use the computers at home and neither of them have a tablet or anything to play on. 

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  • I don't regulate it.  Last Sunday, we went out to eat as a family for lunch, then they spent all afternoon until dinner outside playing with neighborhood friends and that's typical for us.  I will regulate if it becomes an issue with schoolwork, family involvement or other important factions of life.  I will reconsider, now its a non-issue.  They have 3DS, iMac, ipads (and the are getting their own device for Xmas), leap-pads, wii, etc.    DD got all A's last 6 weeks & homework is completed on time weekly.  
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  • We barely have time for an hour a day after homework, dinner, etc.  DS1 is really into it now an upset when he can't do what he wants.  I think it comes with the age.  I try to set expectations in advance so there's no disappointment.  As long as it isn't causing problems, we are liberal with TV  and other screentime.  Currently, it is causing problems so they're on lockdown for the most part.
    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • My kids are 6 and 4. They each get to pick one DVR'd 30 mn show after school, and by flying past the commercials, it ends up being about 20 mn each. Sometimes they both watch the show, sometimes one doesn't like to watch what the other is watching, so that one will go play legos, or do puzzles, or....

    On the weekends, they each get to pick a show in the morning, and DS will get some 3DS time during DD's nap. We will usually do a movie night either Friday or Saturday night (depending on our schedules, and how wiped out DH and I are).

    DS and DD always fight us over wating more time. I think it's just the "no" they are protesting more than anything else.

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