Screen Time

Does anyone else have screen time rules for their family?

I have a love – hate relationship with the TV. I love it, because when I am at my wits end, or just need a break, it is a great distraction for the kids. I can plop them down, turn on the devil machine and they are glued! I can take a shower, call a friend, blog, Facebook, exercise, anything! And now that my oldest knows how to turn on the TV and find toons, it makes it even easier!

But I also hate the TV. I hate their moods when they finish watching. It turns them into these crazy, groggy, mean monsters! Maybe it really does turn brains to mush! I hate that I feel guilty for letting them watch TV and not doing some sort of bonding or educating activity instead.

Now if you are thinking “Then obviously it’s not worth it!” SOMETIMES BIG MAMA NEEDS A BREAK! 🙂

toomuch tv

When I was a kid we were only allowed to watch a half an hour a day. Only one of the many reasons the neighborhood kids made fun us! My mom hated the TV! When we were allowed to watch a little more it was always The Waltons or Star Trek! Yes, we were/are nerds!


So my question to you…how much screen time is too much? What are the rules in your house? What other, more healthy, activities do your kids do instead of watching TV or playing video games? I would love a nice and long go-to list!

Here are the rules for TV replacement activities…

1) Quiet. Has to be something they can do quietly. My little lady is usually sleeping when the boys are watching TV.
2) Confined. Something that doesn’t tempt them to roam. When they watch TV, they are in my room and they don’t leave. I know they aren’t messing anything up or getting hurt or breaking anything.
3) Alone, but together. When they watch TV they don’t really bother each other. My house isn’t really big enough for me to put them in separate rooms, so they have to be together but not bug each other.

Here is my list so far…

1) Rest time. One in their room, the other in mine with me. They can play quietly with the toys that I give them or read books. (Down side…they ALWAYS fall asleep and then don’t go to bed until 10!)
2) No-talking table time. At the table with play-doh or coloring, but not talking/bugging each other. I have never tried this, and it sounds kinda dictator-y, but maybe it would work. 🙂
3) Quiet and Separate play time. In the basement, one in one corner, the other in another. I have to be down there too or they creep upstairs.

And go…what are some of yours?


  1. Krissy H says:

    I recently wrote a similar post – but it focused more towards computer time. My little angels turn into little devils after too much time online (or playing games or whatever)..
    We are having a ‘tech free’ summer, though I still allow them some T.V. time. – I work during the day, but my Mom limits them to about 1/2 hr during the day (unless they are watching a special movie), and then we maybe watch an hr together at nite.
    It’s amazing the difference in how they act isn’t it??
    I am giving my girls their iPods for the trip down to FL since it’s such a long drive, I’m hoping the excitement of vacation keeps the demons at bay!

    • Heather says:

      We usually let the boys watch tv during the baby’s nap time. It keeps them busy and I can get stuff done. But, blah…I hate it. I need to integrate other “busy but quiet” activities for them!

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