Screen Time Wars


“I HATE THIS! YOU’RE SO MEAN! Door slam. House rattles.

Does this resonate with anyone else?

I don’t know about you, but the pandemic burnout is real, especially for my older son. He’s always been a pretty easy-go-lucky kind of kid, but over the past few months, I’ve seen a shift in him. Some screaming bouts and tantrums rival those of his toddler years. Forget about the Threenager…COVID-rage is real, and I know I’m not alone. 

Thanks to COVID, many of our usual energy outlets and joy-making activities have had to pivot or be eliminated. This has contributed to an increase in screen time in my house, which feeds the rage somehow. My almost 10-year-old never used to argue for more iPad or TV time, but now it’s a constant battle. And honestly, it’s never enough, regardless of how much time we allow.

The truth of the matter is, I understand the desire to escape and live life virtually through screens. Who am I to judge? I spend hours on devices for work or just scrolling through social media. The difference, however, is I can self-regulate and shut down to prioritize real life. This is a real-life skill that I’m trying to teach both of my boys.

With so many friends asking for Zoom play dates and remote learning, it’s also hard to say no or have a set limit of screen time. Then add in Firesticks, DVR, video games, and live sports coming back. It really seems like there’s no escape from screens.

Like all parenting struggles, there’s no easy answer or one-size-fits-all. I’m hoping the screen time war will dissipate for our family as the weather finally warms up and we can get outside. However, I know this is just the beginning of this battle. Even when COVID doesn’t demand such high screen usage, I feel this is just the beginning of my screen time war.

How do you battle the screen time wars?

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Maria Sette
I'm a full time mom/teacher/wife/daughter who feels pulled in too many directions! My son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at 6 months old he was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, soy, shrimp and wheat... all after my exclusively nursing because I was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. The joke was clearly on me. Luckily at age 1, he outgrew his soy and wheat allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow. In July of 2015 I gave birth to my second son, Christopher. Thankfully he doesn't seem to have an allergies and is pretty happy go lucky. I'm grateful between my husband who doesn't eat any veggies and me always battling my weight makes for 3 meals to prepare every night. No wonder I'm so dang tired! It's a good thing I love to cook and don't require more than 7 hours of sleep since I often get far fewer than that. I am addicted to Scandal and Nashville, but other than that, most nights I'm content to surf Pinterest and pin way too many crafty pins I will never do with my son. I hope readers can relate to me or at least have a chuckle at my expense.


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