Screen time vs mean time

So I don’t know what is going on with me but this is the third attempt at writing a blog I am happy with publishing. I am not usually like this with writing, normally I just kind of blurt it out and it is done. But not this week.

I feel really uneasy.

I am not quite sure what is going on. Juggling the school holidays and work seems to be wearing me down. I am constantly questioning whether I am doing enough for the kids. They seem tired and don’t really want to be ‘doing’ anything (apart from playing Xbox games and watching TV).

I get paranoid that they should be out and about ‘doing’ more. But, on my days off work, I am tired and I don’t necessarily feel like ‘doing’ anything either. Reading social media posts and ‘articles’ about screen time and limits we should be imposing, is making me feel terrible. I must be a bad mother.

But……. am I really?

So far this holiday my son has achieved his Royal Life Saving Bronze star, swimming and learning to rescue others, my daughter is working towards stage 9 swimming, we have had countless beach visits, pool visits, mountain biking expeditions, friends over, sleepovers, a trip to adventure world and we have a trip planned to watch Perth Glory.

But all I can see is the screen time and me failing to prevent or appropriately limit it.

Just like everyone else, kids need down time and they need time to do what they enjoy doing. They spend 38 weeks a year in the classroom, followed by countless extra curricular activities like piano, soccer, swimming, basketball, dancing etc etc. they are tired.

My question ……….. is there being too much made of the detrimental effects of screen time? Are we taking into consideration everything else a child is doing and that some kids handle it better than others? So by limiting it and forcing the kids and myself out, am I just being mean……to them and myself?

As someone else pointed out, me getting stressed and feeling guilty is not helping my kids. It is making it all worse.

All our children are different. One might find 2 hours a day is too much and their behaviour suffers, while another can spend 6 hours with little effect. I guess being aware of the signs your child displays when it is getting too much might be the best way forward, rather than focusing on a certain time??? I don’t know, I am no guru I am only thinking out loud!!

Today my son showed those signs, it was too much, he knew it and I knew it. You know what he did? He switched it off. It wasn’t me being mean and switching it off like usual, it was him. It was a refreshing change and gives me hope that things are ok.

Sometimes as a parent we have to be mean, sometimes we are mean because we think we should be mean! I think…..we have to assess our own kid/s carefully and work out when we need to be mean and choose our battles wisely.


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