How Much Is Too Much Screen Time for Kids? Here's Our Non-Negotiable "No-Device" Rule by Ann Marie Patitucci

Tech Parenting
2 years ago

How Much Is Too Much Screen Time for Kids? Here's Our Non-Negotiable "No-Device" Rule

I am not anti-electronics (though some days I wish I could transport us all back to the days of the rotary phone!). That said, I believe mobile devices have their time and place, and my husband and I have screen time limits and rules for our boys. One such rule, a non-negotiable one for us, is that we don’t allow them to use their devices during each other’s basketball games. We believe it’s important that they are engaged in the game, watching, learning, and cheering their brother and his teammates on. There’s just something about seeing our kid with his face buried in a tablet instead of encouraging his sibling that doesn’t work for us. 

Please understand that this is not a judgment on anyone else. As we tell our boys, every family has different rules, values and priorities, for their own personal reasons. Parenting is also hard, and some days are harder than others. This is simply something we have chosen to be strict about (while being more relaxed on other things). We have found that it works well for our family.

We love hearing one of our boys congratulate the other on something specific he did on the court, something he would have missed had he been paying more attention to a video game than the basketball game. 

Full disclosure: All bets are off at a swim meet. Those things go on for hours and hours!

Do you have a non-negotiable screen-time rule for your family? If so, please share it in the comments!

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Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
I so agree with you on this, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead . It's very important for kids to be engaged in the "real world," and not plugged into devices, especially when supporting other family members. And you're right that each family is unique and has to make the decision that works best for them. Thanks for sharing what works for you!
Lisa Hix
We have a “no phones till after half time” rule for our kids when we are at sibling sporting events. There are days when we have 4-5 hours of softball or 3 hours of soccer, and Lauren just tags along for all of it. We found it motivates her to be on her best behavior for the first half. We have “no screens at dinner”, “no screens in your bedroom” and “no screens in a restaurant” rules too. Totally agree that different families have different rules that work for them. I tell my kids that ALL. THE. TIME. 🙂
Ann Marie Patitucci
We have those, too, Lisa Hix ! I think your sports rule is perfect for Lauren's age! I think the rules need to be appropriate for your child's age and of course suited to your family. xoxo
Mike Prochaska
I only change the iPads wnen we go on car trips or vacation rest of time battory dead and they don’t ask for

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