Most Moms Spend More Time On Screens Than They Realize
Most moms spend more time looking at a screen than they think. Moms and kids both need a break from screen time. Believe it or not, the average adult spends an astounding 9 hours and 22 minutes a day looking at a screen – with a third of that being on our phones!
The facts are staggering! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have this whole screen time thing under control (says the mom who is always texting a friend about something silly, or devouring Pinterest for new cupcake recipes to try with my daughter), and can’t understand why my child acts like a zoned-out zombie after he has played a couple video games..for too long I might add.
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Kids Use Up Screen Time Fast!
Let me set the scene – as I’m sure it’s pretty much the same in your house. It’s summer break and magically your kids are able to get up the crack of dawn, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to watch cartoons. Even though, just one week ago, when they had school, they staggered downstairs barely dressed, whining that they were so tired and just couldn’t possibly go to school that day.
Now that it’s summer break, before they even eat their Cheerios for breakfast they have already used a couple hours of screen time just watching cartoons. And they have probably bickered with each other over who gets to control the remote and which cartoon they watch next. Am I right? Does this also happen in your house?
Using Screen Time As a Babysitter
You let it slide that they have already used up a couple hours of screen time because during that time, you have had your breakfast while scrolling through Facebook, done a load of laundry while listening to a video from a long-distance friend via Marco Polo, paid some bills with your budgeting app on your phone, unloaded the dishwasher while making a reply video to your long-distance friend, and prepped dinner from a new recipe you found on Pinterest late last night, when you were pinning cool things instead of getting in bed early, and it was all done without interruption from the kids.
Wait, am I describing my own life or what? Yes. My life, right there, and I was stuck to my phone the whole time! Yes, I got my chores and necessary things done, but I was totally engrossed in my own screen time while the kids relished theirs.
And, by now it’s only 9am. You still have a whole day of summer fun to enjoy and you are already completely exhausted. Your brain is tired, and your mind is whirring with all the fun things you should be doing to keep up with the glamorous lives of your Facebook and Instagram friends. Let’s not forget all the fun things you are missing out on that your friends seem like they are doing.
Kids Want To Be Just Like Us
Moms, with all the time we spend using technology to get things done and socialize, it’s no wonder that our kids want to be plugged into technology just like us.
Our kids are always watching us – they see everything! It drives me crazy that they see everything I do. They see all the quick text messages we send to say hi to friends or to set up playdates – and while these things are necessary to how life works in today’s phone-obsessed world, your kids still see it. And, of course they will try to copy you.Moms, with all the time we spend using technology to get things done and socialize, it’s no wonder that our kids want to be plugged into technology just like us. Click To Tweet
Your Kids Will Copy Your Behavior
My oldest son, who is entering into the teenage years, daily tries to fit technology into his life and I don’t even think he’s trying to do it on purpose – he’s just doing what he’s always seen modeled by his parents.
He has a computer that is set up in our main living area of the house – in fact, it’s basically in our kitchen – so it’s right in front of us all the time, which also means it’s a constant reminder to him every time he walks by. He has an on-going game he plays with his dad and he is always “needing” to check the game to see what is going on. Which is fine, but I feel like I’m always telling him to get off his computer.
He also has a lot of similar habits to me – he will set up his phone to watch silly video’s while he’s eating breakfast. When he is doing his chores, like vacuuming, he will turn on Pandora and stream music and play it loud so you can hear it over the roar or the vacuum. He likes to use his phone to text his friends about non-stop playdates.
When we go to the park to play some soccer he likes to stream music while we play. He is always tracking his steps, especially when he is rollerblading (his new activity) via the a Health app because he’s not a big fan of wearing a FitBit. He sets alarms on his phone to tell him it’s time to play video games in the afternoon (which in our house is usually in the afternoons after all your chores and daily summer activities have been completed).
He’s not addicted to technology, but he finds many different ways to use all of his different screens to fit into his everyday life as much as possible.
And do I blame him? No! He’s just doing what he sees me do!
Not All Screen Time Is Bad
I’m not going to tell you that I think ALL screen time is a bad thing. I do, however, think our kids have too much screen time. With that said, I don’t think the answer is to take ALL screen time away. If you do that to your kids, then I think you should hold yourself to the same standard. Seriously, do you think you could do your mom life without your phone – day in and day out? I like my phone, but I don’t love my phone. It’s like a necessary evil.I’m not going to tell you that I think ALL screen time is a bad thing. I do, however, think our kids have too much screen time. Click To Tweet
However, I do enjoy the things technology can do to make my life as a mom easier. There are plenty of apps and sites that help me to be more efficient and economical in my everyday life and I’m thankful for them. I don’t plan to stop using them either.
And, I’m not writing this to make you feel bad about your use of technology time. I do, however, want to point out that as moms, we spend more time on screens than we think, and so do our kids. Plus, our kids are watching. And it’s no coincidence that they want to spend a lot of time on them too!As moms, we spend more time on screens than we think, and so do our kids. Click To Tweet
It’s All About Balance
The real answer is simply this – balance.
Finding that happy balance between plugged in time and time away from a screen enjoying life. Technology is not bad – too much of it is.
Your kids are not bad for wanting to play on technology or use technology – but too much time spent on technology is not good for them.
It’s just a balance you must find. For every family it will be different. You have to do what works best for you and your kids.
Taking Away Screen Time Is Not The Answer
I believe that taking away technology is not the answer – and I truly mean it. Our world is plugged in and if you just simply take it away altogether, you are doing a disservice to your kids.
Our kids just need to learn that in life there are always going to be great things that if you use, or do too much of them, they can turn into not great things. Like eating pizza and brownies every day of your life. Yes, they taste amazing, and will eventually grow your waistline. Once in awhile, though, they can be enjoyed and they will taste even better!
It’s the same with technology. Too much and it can take over your life – but a little bit every now and then and it will be super fun and exciting!
Moms, we need a balance of how much time we spend on technology and so do our kids. Enjoy the screen time, but also unplug and enjoy your kids. Use technology to better your life, but be aware of just how much time you are spending on your phone, computer, or TV especially when your kids are watching.
Take a Break From Technology
Take a break from technology just like you require your kids to do. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air! Play with your kids doing things that don’t require a screen to do them – bake, cook, craft, color, dance, sing, run, play with your kids and do it all without a phone telling you how to do it.
Get dirty and be creative and let you kids do the same. Read a real book – not one on your kindle or phone – go to a library and check out a real book and sit and read it. Have your kids do the same.
Remember, moms, it’s all about balance.
It’s quite a reality check when you really pay attention to just how much time you yourself really do spend on your screen. Teach your kids by modeling the behavior and then don’t expect them to live to a higher standard than you do. Give them some grace and also give yourself some grace.Teach your kids by modeling the behavior and then don’t expect them to live to a higher standard than you do. Click To Tweet
50 Free & Frugal Technology-Free Ideas
I know how busy you are and it’s hard to come up with things to do with your kids to keep them off technology – especially things that don’t cost a lot of money. Which is why I’ve come up with a list of 50 free and frugal things to do with your kids that are fun and keep them off technology. All 50 of these ideas are unique ways to spend time with your kids this summer. Especially because, we all know you will have endless hours to fill keeping your kids busy.
Go ahead and sign up below with your email address to receive my 50 Free & Frugal Ideas to Keep Kids Off Technology & Having Fun! I know you’ll love it! I highly recommend you print it out and hang it on your refrigerator so you can refer to it every time your kids tell you they are “bored” and want to play video games. Plus it’s filled with so many great ideas of memories you can create with your kids.
Sign up below to get your 50 Free & Frugal Ideas to Keep Kids Off Technology & Having Fun! Go ahead and sign up below – right now!
I can’t wait to hear what you think of my 50 Free & Frugal Ideas! Plus, I’d love to know if you have any ideas of your own to share! Please comment below and share with our Frugal Fun Community what you are doing this summer to keep your kids off technology and instead having fun!