Is Screen Time Really The Issue?

Screen time, screen time, screen time *deep sigh*. I don’t know when it became such a terrible thing, but I’m tired of people’s opinions on it. Especially when it comes to children and those who aren’t actually responsible for the development of those children. The same way you don’t want anyone to tell you how to parent, – or how to be – neither do we. There are plenty of us who don’t have an issue with screen time. However, parenting has become so hard because of what we see on social media as some type of “bad” thing that it feels impossible to just raise your kids how you want. I may be one of few parents to admit that, but I done said it now.

If it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t have ever second-guessed the time my children spend in front of a screen. Them having their devices really helps me. Yes, they have plenty of toys but let’s not deny the fact that kids lose interest in things quickly. And being 100% honest I don’t want to sit down, each day, trying to (basically) force my kids to enjoy their toys when I know I’m not going to always want to sit down and play with them. That’s part of where screen time comes in especially when I’m wanting to get things done around the house, for self or just be for a bit. 

I don’t feel like screen time is a bad thing. I do feel like if it’s the only thing that your child does or knows then that’s something you need to correct. But there are way worse things in life we need to be concerned about as parents – and people without children who share their views on this topic – than screen time. I notice how many say that it’s “messing up children’s development” and I get stuck there. One thing I’ve learned while homeschooling is that we base children’s knowing’s off of what we feel they should know. Well, some of us do. Not thinking about the possibility that some just can’t grasp what’s being taught regardless of the type of setting they’re in.

One big issue is that some parents are not helping their child learn anything so hollering at them about what they don’t know isn’t going to change anything. Maybe, just maybe, stop blaming screens for whatever downfall people are trying to paint and open your eyes to the part you should be playing that you are not in your child’s development. Let’s be real, how many times have you heard a parent say, “Well that’s what the teacher is for”? I thought so because I’ve heard it quite a few times. My thing is this, simple. Everybody seems to forget that screen time is what YOU make it for your child. There are so many ways to delete and block certain things or not even download them at all. Everybody’s so concerned about screen time itself when the real limit needs to be what the hell you’re letting your kid(s) watch. YouTube is not allowed on my kids devices. The internet is not allowed on their devices. The most important one, in my opinion, is the App Store which is damn sure not allowed. I have so many locks, blocks and passwords on my kids devices that those devices aren’t reaching half of their potential. It’s so serious to me that I get upset when their dad downloads things before saying anything to me first. So, most of the issue with screen time lies in the parent/guardians hands.

The first thing people do when it comes to something they don’t want to understand is find the first person to blame. Most of that screen time is helpful to children. This goes back to what I just said about things that aren’t allowed on their devices. YouTube for example, they can’t use it on their own, but under my supervision we do use it. Some helpful apps and things to watch are Noggin, Lingokids, Gracie’s Corner, Sago Mini, Osmo, ABC Mouse and that’s only a few of what my kids have and watch. Yes, I teach them but believe me some of the stuff they watch has helped them because of the interest they take in it. My children don’t look at it as “doing work”, it’s fun to them which is what many children need. That is what makes them want to do the work.

Now, aside from that looong briefing I just gave you. I love that my children get screen time. It helps so much especially on long car rides, it’s helpful with school, when nobody wants to watch the same thing, etc. As a parent who has based her screen time decisions off of others’ opinions my suggestion to you is to not sink into that. If you want your kid(s) to have their screens, then let them have them. Nobody is in your house, looking over your shoulder and more importantly those with an opinion are more than likely not financing nor feeding you and your family. I’m going to say this a million times and a million times more, there are more important things to be worried about than screen time.

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