Last night, I scrolled through my newsfeed while my two-year-old son ate dinner. “Nemo?” he said, eyebrow raised.
Two-second pause. “Nemo?”
It’s a familiar soundtrack in our household, one that is beginning to sound more like a background humming than an actual request.
This routine surfaced after a day of hijacking my phone from me, pretending to talk and type on it, acting out the example I have been setting for him for the past two years. The behaviour was cute the first few times (I even tried to catch it on film) but it has now become a dreary reminder of my own downfall.
Screen time is a well-known dilemma for parents. We complain to one another about how Toby is obsessed with the iPad and Charlotte won’t eat without Peppa Pig on.
Watch: Things Mums never say. Post continues below.
We’re beginning to grumble more it more than we do about their vegetable intake or sleeping habits.
We judge families who sit at restaurants, each glued to a separate device. We’d never allow that…even though we aren’t there yet. And we bemoan how we are all trying to follow the World Health Organisation’s advice not to allow screen time for children under one, and no more than one hour of screen time per day for children aged two to four.
The Sydney Children’s Hospital’s online guidelines link excessive screen time to difficulties with weight gain, sleep, communication, neck, back and eye health, as well as exposure to potentially harmful information.
It seems like we have all the information we need, and we’re trying to do the right thing…but are we?