Why I don’t limit screen time

My children love technology, they embrace it in all its forms. They use a computer, Xbox, handheld game consoles, my tablet, my nook and my mobile phone. They watch TV, play games, take photos and they even check the weather. They can identify where on the map we live from the ‘rain alarm’ app and tell me if its going to rain, and they can tell me how big the storms going to be. James wants to learn to touch type, and even Amy loves taking pictures and playing with my mobile.

We want them to enjoy and learn safely with technology, because we love technology too. Mr T works in ICT as a network technician, programmer and occasionally a teacher. We met while studying for a foundation degree in ICT. I create vector based designs (logos, Facebook headers, typography art) for Little Owl Designs (Although its on hold at the moment – I am on maternity leave and deciding what direction I want to focus on). Infact my business name is where the name of the this blog came from!

Why we tried limiting screen time.

 At first we limited their “screen time”. Limiting their time had the opposite effect to our intended one. We wanted them to have an happy balance, but instead this time became sacred time, and became the main cause of tears and tantrums.

I said they could play for 20-40 minutes while tea was cooking, or watch one episode of a tv show before bed, and although we were very lenient it caused lots of tears. At first they didn’t get chance to finish what they were playing, or have a go on a certain game. Or we went out for tea, or had visitors and they missed their program. There was always something, and at least once everyday we had tears because of the limits.

Why we don’t limit screen time anymore.

Now we don’t set a limit, and we are a much happier household.  This means they can just sit and snuggle on the sofa, watching films when they are tired. They don’t get frustrated because they cant complete a game. They don’t make a huge deal if they miss their screen time one day, because they know they can ask the following day. More importantly its not sacred any more.

I want to encourage an healthy lifestyle for later in life, and I think part of that stems from making their own good choices now, and gently steering them in the right direction. I don’t want them to sit in front of a screen all day, but they don’t want to either (well..mostly!)

I don’t pretend to be ‘Supermum’, (we eat far too many chocolate biscuits, have occasional clean underwear shortages and I count down to wine ‘o’ clock bedtime) but I do try to be a good mum.  We visit places, have mini projects (like volcano making), huge projects (like our allotment) we have picnics, read stories and play family games. If they want to watch Frozen on repeat, or play Minecraft until teatime, so be it! But they are equally interested in many other activities, because we take the time to find them and show them. Instead of doing something because they are bored, they follow their interests.

We encourage them to play together & help each other but at the end of the day, as long as they are happy, we are happy.


Lily learning to read, with books from the  reading chest: http://www.readingchest.co.uk


A canal walk.

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No Comments

  1. Carlyakamummy July 30, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    I think if you make anything a forbidden fruit, they will want it more. Whether its chocolate, tv or computer games. Mine watch tv most days but it means the days without tv when we go somewhere are more special. It looks like your kids have the best of both too. #brilliantblogposts

    • Hannah July 30, 2015 at 8:07 am - Reply

      I agree with forbidden fruits. It’s far into the future but I will be taking this approach with alcohol too. I’d rather they drink at home first, be safe and learn their limits

  2. Megan - Truly Madly Kids July 30, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I agree that limiting has the opposite affect. My daughter will happily be on screens all day – but then the amount of physical activity she does balance it out. #brilliantblogposts

    • Hannah August 2, 2015 at 8:50 am - Reply

      It is all about balance isnt it, my children are really active too. I would probably be doing things differently if they were older and unactive. Thanks for stopping by x

  3. MelGreenhalgh July 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    We do it differently – we have a few devices and just lots of talk about what a session is – roughly twenty mins. TV is off for meals as are phones etc. but movie nights a frequent activity on weekends. Ours weren’t given access to iPads and iPods until 8 years of age. Lots of outdoor time and adventures on our farm. I’m still worried we don’t know enough about the impacts on brain development. Maybe I’m being overly cautious just waiting to see I suppose. Thanks for sharing how other families manage this. Mel xx #brilliantblogposts

    • Hannah August 2, 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Its nice to read a different point of view, being cautious is never a bad thing, I am over cautious in lots of other ways! We have a similar rule for meal times, and before school / bedtime too. I would love to live/work on a farm, we have an allotment and are getting chickens next spring, but i think thats as close as we will get. Thanks for commenting x

  4. Natasha August 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I def. think it’s about finding a balance. I used to limit screen time initially but I realised how much he actually learns from using an Ipad or watching certain shows. If that’s the way the world is moving, then I’m glad my 3 yr old can navigate an Ipad. #brilliantblogposts

    • Hannah August 2, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Technology is the way forward. I think in general most people think games are bad, but if you steer them in the right direction you open up an whole new world. My little man has built a space station on minecraft, complete with offices and a swimming pool, if thats not using his creativity and imagination, i dont know what is!

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