With summer upon us, I feel the need to get this out there.
Yes, our kids have screentime. They use our ipad, they use their kindles, and they both, age 3 and 5 know how to work the roku stick. Days go by when they don’t even ask for it, and there are days when they watch way too much! It’s called balance and moderation.
I cringe at the thought of my kids not having an active life. I also cringe at the thought of not having a quiet moment at the end of the day to get dinner going, or clean up dishes. I also cringe at the thought of a really long car ride, or a trip on an airplane…. heck traveling in general without the help of their Kindles. If I must be honest, the thing that annoys me the most are the people who judge. Do you want to judge my whiney tired kid, or do you want to judge me for letting them sit quietly while playing on their tablet? Do you want to judge me for my child freaking out and throwing a tantrum because I had to discipline them, and I stuck to my guns, or do you want to judge me for not following through. Really, which bothers you more? Regardless of what you may think, I don’t care which bothers you… chances are you’re going to judge me for both! The reality is, my kid is go
ing to throw tantrums and my kid is going to have screentime, and if it annoys you… sorry, not sorry.
I hear/read all the time about people saying kids in restaurants with tablets, or kids in grocery stores, or on car rides, having too much screentime. I also hear of how that family with the screaming child ruined someone’s dinner, or flight, or annoyed them in the store. Some of us have no choice but to bring our kids along in these scenarios… I mean afterall, they are human beings. They should be allowed to come out to eat, or be at the grocery store, or the underwear store, or the shoe store. They have to learn store etiquette. I don’t usually let the kids use their tablets in stores or restaurants. I’ve also had to remove my screaming kid from a public area (by remove, I mean carry over my shoulder kicking and screaming) until they were able to calm down. But in certain circumstances, where I know that it will keep them busy when I’m trying to get something done, they have screentime. They also have screentime as downtime when we’ve been super busy. I have felt the “Mom Guilt” about many things. I refuse to feel it about screentime anymore.
Unfortunately there are many things to feel guilty about. We are the parents and we must make the choices on how our kids are brought up. Social media makes it difficult not to have guilt, and not just mom guilt. FOMO is a real thing, apparenlty… (Fear of missing out) and with vacations and perfection and health food choices, spewed all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s no wonder we have guilt! It’s difficult not to feel the guilt. I just try to remember the balancing act. I’ve recently written about balancing the buckets of life. This applies here as well. Set some boundaries, supervise time limits, and let the kids have screentime when
they YOU need it.
Let go of the mom guilt. You are doing the best you can. Be smart about balancing your kids downtime, and activities. Be involved as much as you are able to be. You have to just let it go sometimes. That’s life, actually.