Screen Time: Striking the Family Balance

Screen Time: Striking the Family Balance
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Screen time, that ever-elusive balance between tech and life, right? Full disclosure: we're pretty stringent about it in our household. Is it the right call? Who knows! But here's what I do know—kids these days seem like digital zombies, glued to their screens during meals, downtime, you name it. Short attention spans are becoming the new normal.

Enter Riyaan, age 7, who hit the parent jackpot with us (or not, depending on who you ask). His digital diet consists of one movie a week, strictly on Sundays. No iPads, no phones, nada. The upside? It's encouraged us to unplug and actually engage with him—whether it's playing catch, going for rides, enjoying board games, or a riveting game of Exploding Kittens.

Of course, we have exceptions to our digital lockdown (we're not complete monsters, promise). These come into play when we're out and about or swamped with work. But even then, screen time acts like a sugar rush for Riyaan—he craves more and more and isn't thrilled when it's over.

What do I love about this approach? It's pushed Riyaan towards creative play, like creatin mini master architecture pieces with Magna tiles and pulled us into more family activities like Uno nights and bike rides. His attention span also appears better than his screen-addicted peers. But let's be real, parenting is always a wild ride.

It's not a perfect system, and who's to say it's the best one? We do plan to introduce more tech-focused activities that develop motor skills and strategic thinking. The challenge? Finding worthwhile apps without constant upsells or an ad deluge. So, did we make the right call or set him up for failure? Time will tell.