Our boys, like many I’m sure, enjoy playing video games.
As a family, we also like playing boardgames, cards, crib and doing art together. While we do live decently active lifestyles and I encourage daily outside physical activity regardless of the weather, still, the screen can prove to be a pestering nemesis.
Even during ‘normal’ times, the iPhone, TV, iPad, laptop and PS4 run a tight race of taking top spot of choice entertainment in our home. Before a few weeks ago, I thought I had a good grip on the amount of screen time each of our boys observed on the daily.
But, times have changed…and not necessarily for the better.
Contradictory to child wellness specialists everywhere, there has been a lot of extra screen time required for school work that I don’t personally think is necessary. Sure, a weekly ZOOM call to check in with students is a great idea but having various subjects and teachers with their own assignments each having online screen expectations is proving to be too much…and it is starting to show.
With real-life interactions having decreased, there are also encouragements of online social interactions with friends and family to ‘stay connected’.
While the sentiment to virtually maintain connections is nice, the reality is ugly.
“Limit screen time to 1 to 2 hours a day for children over age 2.” Says the U.S. National Library Of Medicine.
Hmmm, that means that with school work alone, our boys pretty much exceed the recommended daily screen intake without any leisure time on screens or watching Netflix.
The U.S. NL of M also says this:
“Too much screen time can:
- Make it hard for your child to sleep at night
- Raise your child’s risk for attention problems, anxiety, and depression
- Raise your child’s risk for gaining too much weight (obesity)”
Yes, all of those are things have increased around here…and I don’t like it.
I know how grumpy I can get by being on my computer longer than I have to be with work. I really don’t love being tied to the screen but I do it becuase that’s what needs to be done. I would much rather be hiking a mountain, adventuring through the forest or taking in the beauty of the ocean. I try my best to limit my use not just for the above but for the reality of EMF’s…but that’s for another blog.
The current pace and daily flow isn’t flowing and I’m not sure exactly how yet but use of the screen is going to be changing around here.
With the beautiful weather now here to stay, it’s time to get on our bikes, get out for more walks and go on (close) adventures.
The screen can wait.