To ask how much screen time do your young children have? Do my children have too much?

(24 Posts)
FuggleFoot Thu 11-Aug-16 15:22:02

I keep hearing how terrible screen time is for young children. The only type of screen time my children have is watching CBBeeies or Nick Junior - i.e. no tabs or computers etc. But I really do feel I need it some of the time - well it helps at least anyway to encourage them just to be calm for a little while which the youngest definately needs now he has dropped naps. They are up from 5am in the morning, and very active, so by about 3pm they normally need some quiet time and calm down time. They are 3 and 5 years so they will watch an hour or so about 3pm (when I normally get dinner prepped) and then often half an hour or so before bedtime. Early morning they will watch half an hour or so. So in total they will watch between 2 and 3 hours a day across the whole day. But in-between all of that they are outside, active and playing. they are very rarely indoors, rain or shine - we go out every day and do lots of activities. I suppose I'm feeling a bit bad as was criticised by sil for the amount of screen time they watch - when actually I didn't think it was too bad at all.

DerekSprechenZeDick Thu 11-Aug-16 15:24:12

I don't restrict my sons screen time. He goes on his tablet or watches TV when he wants.

Sometimes he will have his tablet playing music while he dances or he will just be sat watching Stampy.

He's been on it about 2 hours today. In between watching TV, playing outside and playing with toys.

I don't think your children watch too much at all.

mirime Thu 11-Aug-16 15:31:45

It varies hugely for ds. Last week he barely watched any TV at all and had a very active week visiting family, days out etc. Watched about 3 or 4 hrs on Monday as he was exhausted by an exciting week. Don't think he watched any on Tuesday or Wednesday, has watched a couple of hours today. Don't think he's been on his tablet.

Haggisfish Thu 11-Aug-16 15:33:11

Loads. But then we interact loads, go out loads and do reading and writing too. They have learnt all their colours, numbers and dhapes from screens and the programmes are really good.

BendydickCuminsnatch Thu 11-Aug-16 15:34:42

Ha. DS has had LOADS of tv today and I do feel bad about it but he's being whingier than he ever has been in his life and I can't do anything right! grin he had about an hour this morning first thing, nap, post office and park, lunch, nap, quick walk around the garden and now it will be TV until bedtime I'm sure! All his toys are in front of the TV so no doubt he'll dabble with those too. Currently sat on my lap eating a flapjack and watching Mister Maker.

Artandco Thu 11-Aug-16 15:35:19

Mine are probably opposite of most, but at 5 and 6 they have virtually 0 screen time and television. We have no tv at home and they have no use of screens at home.

Maybe 3 times a year we take them to cinema, and they both use laptops for 30 mins each week at school. They might watch some stuff at school also but not sure when.

Andsenditsoaring Thu 11-Aug-16 15:39:17

I think 2 or 3 hours a day is an awful lot.

We have maybe one film a week - 4, 2 and baby.

But I haven't watched any telly for weeks either it is not really something we do.

chocomochi Thu 11-Aug-16 15:43:07

Mine are 6 and 4 and have 30 mins a day when I get dinner ready (they get to choose between tv or tablet but usually choose tv).

Hopefully Thu 11-Aug-16 15:44:37

Ours is enormously variable too - some weeks this summer, when we've been camping or visiting relatives, they have had absolutely none, but today (first day home after a week away) they had about 2hrs taking turns on the iPad this morning and will probably do the same for another 2hrs turn taking this afternoon now we're home again (they do 15 minute turns, but will often watch each other's turn, so it's more than 2hrs each). But in between we went for a long walk and a play at a local forest with friends, so they have had a good dose of fresh air. Same for 2yo DD, she will probably have watched 2-3hrs of tv today but long walk in between.

I guess it probably averages out to about 90 mins a day over the summer, maybe an hour in term time, but it wouldn't bother me in the least if it was closer to 2hrs as long as the in between time was spent doing something vaguely wholesome.

Elisheva Thu 11-Aug-16 15:47:50

Mine are 2, 6 and 9 and I don't limit their screen time. They have tv, Wii, and tablets and they can play with them as and when they want to. I've found that they tend to self-limit to an hour or so and then choose to do something else. We go out and about everyday, do reading/school work/music practice. They can spend their free time as they wish.

LillyBugg Thu 11-Aug-16 15:50:30

My DS watches about the same, he's 2. Usually about 20 mins when he wakes, in my bed. Then about 30 mins while I'm having a shower/getting ready to go out. And then maybe another 1-2 hours in the afternoon/evening when I'm preparing dinner and also before bed (CBeebies bedtime hour).
It's going to be so different for everyone. It must depend on so much. We as a couple watch a fair amount of tv so I don't see 2-3 hours as that much. But I can see other posters saying its LOADS. Meh. I'm not bothered, we do loss of other non screen fun stuff to.

Mishegoss Thu 11-Aug-16 15:55:26

It varies. Today has been awful and I fully admit to using cbeebies as a babysitter. Other days they're in the garden all day playing and don't watch it at all. Some days we're out all day and they have an hour in the evening before bed. I'm not worried about it. Generally they have a varied, active lifestyle. A bit (some days a lot ) of tv won't turn them into degenerates.

FuggleFoot Thu 11-Aug-16 15:59:49

I think that is the point I was thinking, both children have been out for a long walk this morning, we went on a bug hunt, we climbed trees and then came home for lunch. this pm we made mud pies in the garden and sort of bug hotel thing. thinking about it they didn't watch tv this morning but have been doing so for about the last half hour - on and off as they wander about - mister maker and grandpa in my pocket. We'll be making cakes in a bit. I suppose I feel viewing 'screen time' in isolation from all other factors is naive and silly, as it is the wider context of the child's general activities that surely are more important?!

elQuintoConyo Thu 11-Aug-16 15:59:51

About 1 hour tablet, 1 hour tv but not consecutive, he'll have 20mins here and there. He watches the last 3 episodes of Spingebob at night, when it finishes he knows it is time for bed.

No screens while we are eating, though.

That is an average. Some days more, some days none. We also do park, beach, reading, baking, playing in washing up bubbles/flour from baking - he LOVES that!

wigglesrock Thu 11-Aug-16 16:30:42

I don't really regulate it - if they don't want to do anything else and there's something they want to watch/catch up on they can go ahead. They go outside, play with their friends, go on their bikes, play with their toys, read, draw and watch tv-tablet, play a game. We're watching the Olympics now, my 5 year old likes the archery hmm, she's already watched some Barbie and the dream house, will probably watch 20 mins or so later, has cycled to the park, played in the park, dressed up - I'm not going to stress about a couple of hours watching tv.

Same with my older two, my 8 year has spent a few days binge watching Hetty Feather, she's spent just as much time then reading Hetty Feather, playing with her friends. My 11 year old is really good at self regulating the time she watches stuff, because I haven't really restricted it - apart from bedtime and homework, it's just part of stuff she likes to do like running, training, meeting up with her friends - it's no big deal to her.

CakeNinja Thu 11-Aug-16 16:39:13

They can do what they like when we're at home.
This morning we went on a 5 mile walk with our friends and their dog, they came home and had a picnic in the garden and once the friends had gone home, Ds (4) found my iPad and watched an episode of spongebob on Netflix.
He came back down for food and wandered back upstairs and is now playing angry birds on it.
I'm not het up about any of them watching tv/films or playing games.
They find something else to do when they get bored, but I also get them all out for a good few hours a day otherwise they get on my nerves!

manicinsomniac Thu 11-Aug-16 16:40:44

I have no idea as I don't regulate it.

But we only have one laptop, one iPad and one phone between me and my children so they can't have very much seeing as I hog them anyway! grin We have a tv but only 2 of the channels work and there's no sky or cable or anything.

I guess I might count and limit the time if more devices were available to them - the time would depend on age. I wouldn't want my 2 year old on screens for example, but my 13 year old could probably have as much as she wanted.

wheresthel1ght Thu 11-Aug-16 16:43:15

I don't think you have anything to worry about!

My dd watches as much tv as she feels like, more often than not it is on in the background while she is reading a book (as much as any 3 year old reads), playing with her trains, playing kitchens or doing craft things.

I think the more you make a song and dance about "only allowed X amount of time" the more taboo you make it and the more they will want/demand it

Tangoandcreditcards Thu 11-Aug-16 16:44:29

2.5yo DS watches a couple of hours a day. Most days. Like yours, an early riser. So 6-7am and 3.30/4-dinner time.

Sometimes more if it's raining or he's in a strop for the day for whatever toddler reason! Or if there's cricket on, because then I have the telly on all day!

Solasum Thu 11-Aug-16 16:46:26

DS is fast approaching 3 and watches approx 20 mins 3 times a week. He has no access to screens at other times apart from to Skype relatives which we do a few times a week. He is very good at entertaining himself if there are things I need to do.

Strokethefurrywall Thu 11-Aug-16 17:32:41

Yep, I don't really regulate it as my 2 are in pre-school (4 1/2 and 2 1/2 years) and they are running around, learning from 7.30 - 5.30pm. Their time at home they can do as they please.

Generally they will eat together whilst watching Octonauts on Netflix, or a family movie whilst I get dinner ready. Same in the mornings whilst eating breakfast.

We have hot weather here year round, so at the weekends we're always out and about in the pool, or at the park etc so when we're back for the younger one's nap time DS1 will watch something or go on the ipad.

I did have a moment a few weekends ago when I realised that DS2 had watched Finding Nemo 3 times that day, but then I remembered that I was recovering from pneumonia and DH and I were shattered and thought "fuck it!" grin

It's all good, don't worry about it.

Mosschopz Thu 11-Aug-16 17:34:29

My DS (5) has no tablet time during the week at all during term time as it makes him ratty for some reason. We restrict him to weekends only - 1-2 hours per day. In holiday times he has this to tick off before any tablet-time and then gets the same amount.

gamerwidow Thu 11-Aug-16 17:47:56

My dd(6) has unrestricted access but doesn't use the iPad or watch tv for hours at a time. She tends to want more screen time when she's tired or poorly. Usually she wants to play or do craft rather than use screens.

Mishmashpotatoes Thu 11-Aug-16 19:18:34

DD 5 almost 6 plays/watches whenever she wants. Like others here she's good at self regulating.

We had a long tiring day yesterday so she spent most of the day snuggled up on the couch playing Roblox.

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