No Screentime or How Much of Screentime?

Before becoming a mother, I had made imaginary set kind of rules on various things in my mind which I planned to apply with time as my son grows. But life never turns out to be the way you have planned and you need to lower your expectations, tweak pre-set rules, adopt and accept change and make new rules.

Since we have been thrown into quarantine period, I am super cautious and rarly go out unless necessity. This means I had to occupy myself and my 1.5 year old with various activities. He quickly gets bore from one activity, always need something new to play with even if it is a new card box, a water bottle or an empty bottle of my face cream. But one thing he has recently been overdoing is watching LOTS of television although it’s just rhymes and nothing else. If I resist, he throw tantrum and gets angry. And this was making me kind of worried.

So I researched a little bit yesterday about how much screentime is healthy for kids. The research says that kids between age 2 to 5 years old can have maximum of 2 hours of screentime everyday. For kids less than 2 years old, it’s better to not introduce screentime to them or limit it to one hour daily.

Then there is something which is called good screentime and bad screentime. Watching an educational and interactive video or rhymes which is for baby development or learning is considered a good screentime. But plopping your toddler down on your lap and watching your favourite tv show is called bad screentime.

Today when there are screens everywhere, it’s kind of difficult to not expose your kids to television or tablet or mobile. And when you are living in a three room apartment with no or very less outdoor activities especially during such times, its becoming impossible to save your kids from screend. Yes, there are parents who are extra strict and careful and try to avoid watching TV in front of kids and make sure that remote control is out of their sight but what about mobile phones? In one way or other, your kid will be exposed to them.

Before covid-19, my 1.5 year old just use to watch TV at specific time which was quiet manageable. But since few months, he has become so use to it that now he needs his rhymes on most of the time and especially when he eat his food. When I try to say NO and be firm about it, he cries out loud, show anger and I had to switch it on because he just won’t accept anything else.

Then yesterday when he was having his lunch, I tried something out. Instead of putting on TV, I played his rhymes on a bluetooth speaker. It worked. He was satisfied and didn’t ask me to switch on TV. I realised that it’s basically not the TV that’s the issue, it’s him getting bore sitting on high chair with nothing to do. And also because he loves music 😜. I also observed that when I play with him or we sit to read a book, he doesn’t ask for TV but as soon as I start doing my own work and leave him to play on his own, he asks for it.

Watching television has become his favourite hobby nowadays but atleast it’s a little consolation that he is not interested in watching anything else, just his usual rhymes or ABC song or 123 song.

I still do worry on days when he gets too much of television but it’s not a everyday story and I have accepted that it’s okay. Being a mother, we have to sometimes accept our surroundings and situation. For instance, my kid loves his grandparents room then his own room. Yes, you read it right. So I cannot always barge into their room and issue orders to switch off their television just because its creating a bad habit for my child. First because it’s their room and they are watching TV. Secondly, it would be ill-mannered to do so. Thirdly, I do have a choice to pick my kid up from that room but again as I said, he loves to be in that room then in his own.

Yes, setting rules are necessary but they don’t work for everyone and everytime. You have to sometimes let go, breath and relax. As long as you are making sure your kid is having a good screentime and learning something out of it, it’s okay and there is nothing to beat yourself about it.

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Hello! Welcome to my space. I am a Pakistani from heart, born in Karachi and spent good 27 years of my life in that country. I am happily married and a stay-at-home mom, currently residing in KSA which i now call as my new home. This blog is my happy place where I will post about lots of different things, including my motherhood journey, lifestyle, book reviews, my thoughts and feelings about different issues and generally about my life on the go. I am an introvert who generally sucks at expressing her emotions verbally but loves to write them down. I hope you find the content here relevant and interesting to read. Looking forward to build a great community here. Have a great day!

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