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I restrict my kids' screen time to an hour each day. I also tell them that mobile phones, tabs, TV usage are all counted in that one hour's worth of screen time. This leads to a lot of struggles at home; I win a few battles and lose some. I think we all do this.
But this ends up making me feel guilty. Who's going to restrict my screen time? There's work, where I stare at a laptop about 8 hours each day. Then there's Facebook with all the must-read posts from my friends and friends of friends. And then there's WhatsApp, with all the numerous groups from my housing society, my kids' school, my workplace. There's mail from work on the phone after office hours. And don't even get me started on all the online shopping - from clothes, stationery, groceries and cosmetics - we end up buying some or all of these online! If my daughter asks me a question and I don't know the answer, more often than not, I'm tempted to look it up on Google. And how about news, blogs, MyCity4Kids and others like these!
For me, I'm attempting a no-screen usage before 8 30 AM in the morning and after 8 30 PM at night rule. This also fits in with what many recommend - stop staring at screens at least 2 hours before bedtime and after waking up. But this is so difficult!
So how do we do it then? Is going cold turkey on screens the only answer? What about all you entrepreneurs who use social media for your business – whether it is Tupperware, silk thread jewelry or home baked goods (like me!)? Do you set specific times for your social media logins? I’m part of a huge Facebook group called the Home Bakers Guild and this group is always active – whatever hour of the day. This group inspires me hugely; a lot of pictures of custom cakes as well as recipes and tips from the professionals around. I don’t like to miss this group’s posts when I restrict my screen time. Do you have activities like these too that eat up your time?
Maybe the way out is to make peace with yourself and prioritize how you want to spend your limited screen time each day. Possibly my son feels the same way I do when I restrict his screen time – which channel and which device to choose!! There are so many options and so little time!
I'm interested to know from you - do you set a good example for kids with your restricted screen usage? If so, what strategies do you use???