How Much Screen Time is Too Much?


I’m going to admit something that is probably flame-worthy. Not because I want to see the Internet go up in smoke, but because I think a lot of us are struggling with this issue.

I think my toddler is plugged-in too much.

Meaning, I think he gets way too much time with the television or iPad. The funny thing is, we didn’t even have cable until 6 weeks ago. We got rid of it right after he was born because it was an expense that we could no longer justify with our long working hours and parenting. It used to be that the only television he watched was in the car on our horribly long commute. But we’ve become far more lax about his screen time in the past year and I hate it.

In the morning, he watches a cartoon while I get ready (a total necessity!) but I have to admit that on the weekends when we want to sleep just 10 minutes more, we are so guilty of handing him the iPad so that he can watch something on Netflix. At night when we are tired and cooking dinner and it’s dark outside, he begs to watch a movie. The worst part? He knows how to flip on the iPad, pull up Netflix, and pick his favorite show. He’s three and he can do more with Apple technology than my mother. (Sorry for pushing you under the bus, mom.) That is purely lazy parenting on my part.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 1-2 hours of viewing time per day, so we are in the high end of that number. Oops. But he LOVES the iPad and adores the movie Cars and begs for them repeatedly.

On the bright side, it’s not all bad. Some of the programming is educational and he repeats and interacts. On the iPad, we play games that help him count. And they even have a computer in his daycare classroom because dude, he is of the generation that will be doing much more than Oregon Trail in the first grade.

 What is your feeling on toddler screen time? Do you worry that your kid is getting too much? That he loves the technology too much?

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