Are Your Kids Addicted To Screen-Time Like Mine?
I'm realizing something more and more each day in my house - my kids are addicted to screen time. It isn't that they really like it but they seem to be actual addicts. On the days where I only give them a small amount of time or (heaven forbid) no screen time, they turn into zombie monsters. All of the sudden they are bored all the time, can't think of anything fun to do, hole themselves up in their rooms, or just end up trying to eat nonstop because they are bored. They get easily irritated and make me feel like a bad parent because I'm ruining their life by not letting them watch the latest episodes of Carmen San Diego.
Last week my son lost his screen time privileges and for those three days he wandered around like a zombie with no direction or just followed my wife and me around like a shadow. He didn't know what to do with all his new found free time.
I get that this is something I've brought on myself. We are in an age of technology and it is so easy to entertain or distract your kids with screens. It starts when they are babies and we need a break so we hand them a tablet and they watch cartoons. Then as teenagers we find what their currency is to get them to behave and for most that is their phone or TV time.
There are days when I feel bad for forcing my kids to go outside or do anything but stare at a screen. That is what I've recently realized and I also realized that I can't and shouldn't feel that way. Not to compare too much to when we were kids and watching a movie was special or Saturday morning cartoons was something we looked forward to, but we were fine without it and our kids will be fine too. I want, in my house, screen time to be a treat and not something they feel they deserve.
There is an interesting article on Daily Mail about how much time kids are spending on screens and it is a lot! Kids spend more that 13 hours a week watching TV and spend around 20 hours online. That time is almost equal to a full time job!
I do not think that screen time is a bad thing, but in my case and probably many other homes, we really overdo it and I plan to have screens on less in my house.