Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meanest Mom Ever...Part 1

My 5 year old has gotten in the habit of grabbing the ipad as soon as he gets home from school. He has his servant bring him milk, lunch and snacks and he settles in for hours of video watching on Netflix. 

Library - A glass chandelier above a round table with black-and-white chairs
(I want more reading)

And I rarely see my 12 year old twins. Between video games and their new Iphones they are way to involved to chat with mom or even respond to questions. Unless I scream at the top of my lungs to get their attention. Then they get all huffy and want to know why I am yelling. 

(more outside time)

Guess what we started on Saturday? Limited screen time. Guess what my new name is? World's Meanest Mom. It's OK, I've been called worse. After doing a little research it seems the recommendation for children over 2 is two hours per day. 

(more crafts)

It has been a little ugly around here as everyone detoxes, but the good news is that I have been able to get them to do crafts with me. Nothing better than forced family fun. 

Do you limit screen time? Does that include TV and phones? Can your kids earn extra time by doing chores or good behavior? Give me some help here!!

Pictures from: Lonny, The Novagratz, Martha Stewart


  1. First of all, love all those photos especially that first one - pinning that now! Re: screen time, I need to do the same. My 7-year-old is addicted to his DS/Pokemon games and my 10-year-old loves anything on her iPad - usually games. And she thinks I'm the meanest mom ever for not letting her have a phone yet (she's in 5th grade and it's customary around these parts to get your middle schooler a phone in 6th grade - it's crazy in my opinion, but what do I know). Heaven help us all. Glad you put your foot down. I need to muster the strength - you've inspired me to do so!

  2. I need the two-hour limit myself; after all, I am over two-years-old! :)

  3. It's interesting. We have almost no screen time--Thursday is "show day" because my husband comes home late from work and I am too tired to deal with anything but making dinner. So they get an hour. Friday is family movie night, which is self explanatory. And that is mostly all. We do have a mobigo and they probably spend an hour a week each using that thing. And sometime I let them draw on a coloring app on my phone, in emergency situations.

    Screens have always been a privilege, which means we have not had to deal with taking it away. (ironically, they are big readers but beg to go to the library to play pbskids on the computer. They do not understand that our computers at home have access to the same games.)

    I am sure this sounds annoying--I will say that no screen time and good food are kind of our things around here--but here is why I am weighing in. Lately I find myself trying to figure out if we are TOO restrictive. The same way that restricting sugar led to me 6 year old standing at the snack table on playdates and bingeing on sweets, I fear some weird TV addiction afoot.

    So I think there is a balance. I will say having designated days has helped a lot because they look forward to it, and we don't have a problem where we have to struggle to turn it off each night (and where 1 hour turns in to 2 or 3 because I am not paying attention.)

    The upside is that my kids make cool shit on a daily basis. Which makes me wish there was someone to restrict MY TV time so I could get on with my creative self.

    OH, and I am the "meanest mom ever" for any number of other reasons; they find reason, don't they? GOOD LUCK :)

  4. We do no electronics on school nights. On the weekends they exceed their two hours. I do find that firm rules lessen the negotiating which wear me out.

  5. Two of my grandchildren get one hour of screen time a day during the week. It's a little more on weekends and screen time does not include the Wii if they are doing physical activity/exercise when watching - for example the sports island one.

  6. Haha! I don't have kids yet, but I can totally see where you are coming from. Even though they think you're mean, you are doing the right thing!! xo

  7. Mine get phones when they get their license. We have a perfectly good phone hanging on the wall in the kitchen that they can use until then. They can use the DS in the car and after homework and dinner, but only for 30 minutes.

    I'm not a fan of electronics for kids. Even if it's educational. They have books and games all over the house they can use. And if it's nice outside, I basically put them on the porch and say 'come back when it gets dark.'

    I don't care if they think I'm mean for these things. I don't want them to turn into couch potatoes. And they know these things are a privelege, and they appreciate it more than if it was constantly at their disposal.

  8. Chin up, it'll get better :) When I first met my now-stepdaughter, her mother used the TV as a babysitter (still does, unfortunately), and the girl had absolutely no idea how to entertain herself. Coming into my haven't-had-TV-service-in-six-years household, she was simply beside herself.

    Believe it or not, she had to re-learn how to play and use her imagination. Now, she makes the household transition very easily, but I've had my hooks into her for near-four years now. I cannot control what goes on at her mom's house, but at our house, she's allowed to watch a movie every few days with her Daddy, and that's it.

    She doesn't get screen time otherwise, except at the school computer lab, where she plays math and reading games.

    Trust me, it WILL get easier :) Just stand your ground, and don't even think about giving in, even when it's so hard you want to tear your hair out instead of listening to their incessant, "I'm bored" whining.

  9. I think it is great you have set your foot down and limited screen time. They may hate it now but they will have fond memories of quality time with their family. Such fond memories will encourage future grandchildren :)

    I've been making chocolate spa gifts with my five year old daughter. You should come check out my blog sometime.

  10. Sissy- My three kids don't have ipads or iphones, but they do grab our laptops. I like Kayce's no weekend electronics time idea.


  11. I love it!! No worries, your kids will thank you later for it....actually making memories by playing together instead of watching someone else's on the screen....PRICELESS!

  12. No kids here, but I have joked/threatened to pull the power plug on the wireless router at my mother-in-law's house at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    We bring the world's cutest golden retriever with us, but we can't get any nephews to put the darn ipads down (the 7 and 14 year olds are both on their second ipad) to hang out or go for a walk.

    Two years ago, when I showed up at another nephew's house, the first thing he asked was if I had brought the dog. This year, the first thing he asked as if I had games on my phone. :(

  13. I have 3 kiddos and yes I limit screen time. Mostly because it scares the crap out of me when I go places and I see entire families in doctors offices on some type of screen not even engaging in conversation. I was an educator for many years before having kids and I found that some of my students actually needed to practice how to socially have a 2 way conversation with appropriate listening and pausing. Anyhow, I think too much screen equals not enough life exploration. I believe in the philosophy of the book Simplicity Parenting. Great read...good luck and thanks for addressing this topic!


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