Making Sense of Screen Time

We’re all feeling it. The slump of social distancing, summer camps canceled, and just the bizarre world that is 2020. I’ve gone through phases as a parent. From forced gratitude of “you should feel lucky that…” to allowing myself to sit in the slump with them and say “you know what, you’re right this sucks.” I have anxiety on how this time in our lives will shape them forever, good or bad. And mostly I have a ton of guilt about the amount of screens we are consuming. 

Different Types of Screen Time

We’ve had Dr. Emily King on the podcast before and I am so thankful for her insight. In the beginning of quarantine, our screen time rules went out the window. We figured it would be a good way to ride out this madness and quite frankly, we were naive about how long this was going to last. Now there are some troublesome patterns we are noticing that we discuss with Dr. King. For example, what happens when your child is hiding their screen time from you? She breaks down the different types of screen time, as well as unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

It’s important even as adults that we take an inventory on our own screen time habits. If you have to be on your phone or laptop for work (and your kids feel like you are being a hypocrite about screen rules) make sure you tell them what you are doing. It’s different to be on your phone scrolling social media vs. making an appointment, returning an email, or looking up online camps. Your family might also want to block off times in the day when no screen time is allowed, unless it is being done together. Recently, Dr. King joined her sons in playing a video game that was fun for the whole family. That’s an example of social screen time where connections are being made using technology. In light of this, I asked PC if he could teach me how he builds games in Roblox. I haven’t seen him so excited to hang out with me in weeks.

You can learn more about Dr. Emily King’s new online course, Parenting On Your Own Path here:

How is your family handling screen time at your house? Tell us in the comments and listen to the podcast below: