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Leading on from my previous post about time issues and resolutions I am really interested to know if you have screen-time limits on yourself/your kids.

I have hardly any willpower and will find myself wasting hours online for nothing and need to reign it in badly.

I am thinking of imposing a strict 2 hour per week limit on browsing the internet. (non-essential-to-life-browsing! - e.g. not inc bank/researching cheap tarrifs, online shopping and so on) and actually scheduling it in!

Also, what screen time do your kids honestly have?  Mine probably watch telly for about 2 hours a day in honesty, browse online or play on their DS’s for a further 20-30 mins a day on average.  (this is the 10 and 8yo)

Having said that, Sam is addicted to one film after another and so also probably watches TV for around 2-3 hours a day.


I am not happy with this amount, especially as most of it is utterly mindless and not ‘educational’ or even ‘intentional, planned’ viewing iykwim.  But it does mean that I can clear up, tidy away, do a wash, cook dinner etc….  Though tbh, if the TV was off they would just play while I did these things or even better - help!

What limits, if any, do you have and how do they work? 


Mummy to four little ones

Doesn’t always work like most things, but I try to think of it it terms of varying activities - i.e. a sedentary screen activity with something away from the screen. I try not to forget about a break every hour if I need to do something on the computer that requires sustained effort…otherwise, try to review what I’m actually doing every so often, and ask myself is it really what I want to be doing…
Is that helpful?


Oh, and we don’t have a t.v but Babes does watch a fair amount of films, especially when the weather is bad or I’m shattered or need to crack on with housework/cooking. But we try not to let it happen EVERY DAY - and again balance activities - and no more than an hour a day. Hour and a half max. Unless there are special circumstances i.e. she is not well or something.

We were pretty much where you are, and it just robs time, doesn’t it? I’ve gone cold turkey - we don’t have the tv on apart from Wednesday evening for film night and Sunday evening for vegging in front of something we’ve recorded. Although DH and I often watch something once they’re all in bed. I try not to turn the computer on until the evening and have cut back on browsing, coming on here, etc and come on with a mental to do list. The children get a go about twice a week and I put the timer on for 20 minute sessions.
TBH it has been a lot easier than I’d imagined and not too much moaning has been going on, like you say if I’m busy they just tend to get on with things. In our house putting a limit on has been well worth it. Good luck!

Nelly x

We don’t have tv just dvds and as my two little ones are so small i’m horrified with myself that i use it as a babysitter with the 2 and half yr old while i’m putting the 7mth old to bed. usually about twice a day about 20mins eachtime although it’s creeping up and as soon as we’ve cracked the not having to be asleep to go to bed with the little one tongue wink we’ll seriously cut back. when my husband is home we sometimes watch a movie or if they are sick. I hate the tv but to be honest it has saved me the last few mths with having a toddler and a new baby.

Trying really hard to be the best mummy I can to Tillie born sept 07 and Ivy aug 09


The tv is on, a lot. M puts it on, she always gets up early, and creeps downstairs. I often wake up to find the telly on and her on the lap top; in her defence, she is usually playing ‘educational’ games on the pc,( she is very into KS games at the moment.. not sure if that makes it better?).

But the tv does annoy me, especially when she puts it on programmes which I hate, and really dont think should be shown.

I was thinking of this just today, and have decided I’m going to implement a viewing limit. I think 1 to 2hrs tops from now on (4 til 6pm or 5 til 7). Because otherwise it is on constantly when we are in the house.

My mum has sky plus, so she can record a few of the better programmes (Backyard Science on Pop, and Bindi [the jungle girl], and Jungle Run from CITV) which M really likes, and are ok. BS and Bindi are educational and interesting, jungle Run is a bit like The Krypton Factor, but with kids. And M can watch them at her house on a Monday evening.

As for me following a screen limit… I couldn’t, lol. Double standards or what?  red face  But, I’m not the issue. I’m online in and amongst the kids playing, or when they are in bed. I need to get M away from the TV because I think it is mind numbing. I also think some of it is unsuitable, and some of it sets a bad example (eg she watches Horrid Henry on CITV, which I *detest* and try to avoid her watching. Well a week or two ago, M started replying “EN OH Spells NO!” when asked to do something. A week later Horrid Henry came on and Henry’s MOTHER said that to Henry! I think my jaw hit the floor! Talk about teaching kids to be disrespectful!)
Anyway, but more than that, there is so much else she could be doing when we are home, like playing out (if the weather is ok) or painting, or playing with playdough or moonsand, or drawing, or reading, or playing with her toys…. etc etc.

I have turned the tv off before and set limits, or pretty much banned it outright. About a month or two ago the Sky (freeview) disappeared and we could get no signal for any channel; so I unplugged the tv and we had no tv for about a month. (But then I plugged it back in to watch a DVD I think, and a few days later we discovered the sky was working again, and slowing viewing time has crept up and up.)

I dont watch tv though, I do go online, and I watch certain things online (IPlayers) like Corrie, and at the moment Married, Single, Other. But I tend to only watch them later at night, once the kids are in bed (because it is impossible to hear, and concentrate on, anything when the kids are awake.)

HE’ing, formerly co-sleeping, BF’ing, BWing, BLWing & Cloth-nappying wannabe eco-warrior, organic-eating, mostly vegan mum to K (16/11/06) and M (26/04/04) and squish due 5/7/16 :D.
Also 2 dogs, 6 cats, and 6 hens.

My kids get to watch a maximum of 45 mins a day and they very occasionally get some other form of screentime such as playing Lego Star wars with daddy for an additional alf an hour or so. To be honest I’m not too keen even on that and we’ve been reviewing it recently. IN the summer, we often go for days without them watching anything and it’s much easier then. Me and DH don’t watch much either, maybe the odd 1 or 2 programmes a week or maybe an odd film, and none of us watch anything online as our connection can’t take it. I’m already feeling this is too much, but I don’t want to ban it altgoether as we have watched some really interesting things sometimes and it is useful to use as down-time after a physically hectic day. So, I’m not sure how it would be in an ideal world, basically. I don’t let them watch adverts at all, ever and I strictly monitor what they see as I feel TV can have a disproportinately large influence.

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

Myself - I dont watch loads of TV, I probably watch the odd programme in the week and then a DVD at the weekend. I can waste evenings online though and I have cut down. I have recently decided not to browse online during the day as it makes me ratty if the kids disturb me and I find that is unreasonable (of me). I find the computer totally zaps my energy and often leaves me feeling de-motivated, I dont know how this is really possible but Im sure Im better off not using it often. I think 20 mins at a time is enough. I have heard you can get special software that boots you off after a set time period….

The kids - A few weeks ago I cut telly out except for a DVD on friday and sunday afternoons, because DD was throwing major wobblers whenever it got switched off, even when it had been agreed beforehand. I have found that she is happier without the telly and tbh they dont ask for it much. When theyre tired in the late afternoon I find I am very tempted to switch it on….....sometimes I like the peace I get from them watching telly. Id like not to go back to them watching telly daily but I know come the winter, it will probably go back on. When they did watch it, it was for an hour a day, well 2 programmes so maybe a bit less than an hour.
So far they dont go on the computer atall, unless its looking up info with me, but we keep it brief, 5 mins.

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

This is one that frustrates me at the moment as I know how much time I’m wasting!! We’re strict with dd’s screentime because she reacts so badly after it - she watches probably an hour in the morning on sat and sun, and then sometimes a half hour or so after school on thursdays, but that’s out at the moment because she started being so hideous afterwards that it was ruining our family mealtime, which we now only get twice in the week because of her gym. She’s better after playing on the wii or playing games on the cbbc site online, so we allow that instead for a 20 min slot after school or at weekends. Oh and we sometimes watch a film on saturday evenings, which I love! But we have to watch on the pc as dvd player is broken! And ds is easy because he doesn’t watch anything ever, he just plugs the tv in sometimes to wind me up!

However, I feel very hypocritical because I don’t have the same limits myself. I don’t watch much tv - we watch a couple of programmes a week together atm - but I spend hours on the internet - your 2 hour limit sounded ok until I realised it was per week, not per day!! Dh watches more tv than I do, but probably coz he’s bored because I’m always on here. I think it’s just laziness on my part - I’m so tired right now I just want to veg. And I don’t mind in the evening, actually, because it’s my time. I feel awful when I get distracted and spend longer than I mean to online during the day though and I go through phases of not having the pc on until the children are in bed. I always feel better when I do it, but just find it embarassingly hard to stick to. Ah, for a bit more willpower!

Claire xx

We don’t have a tv anymore, but I’m really guilty of wasting time browsing the internet (there’s so much stuff on there!).  It was interesting to read your post as it hadn’t occurred to me to give myself a time limit on the internet, even though I would for my children.  It’s a good idea!

DD1 (who is 10) goes on the internet for half an hour a day, doesn’t watch any TV, and at the moment we’re watching one film a week.  She’s happy with this (she loves to read).

For DD2 (who’s 5) we go through phases of watching CBeebies stuff on the internet, usually after dinner.

Because the computer is relatively inaccessible unless we make the effort to set one up downstairs, we don’t have it on so much as we would if we still had the tv.

We don’t have TV and the kids are allowed 20 minutes per week computer time for games etc. 

They also use the PC for educational stuff on average maybe 15 mins per day?  They don’t have any electronic gaming.

But they spend lots of time outside playing lol!!

I work in front of the PC so whilst I enjoy a bit of this forum and online shopping I certainly don’t want to spend hours of my free time doing it iyswim!  Too much tennis to play. smile

I dont mind a little screen time but I dont allow adverts, I turn them off if emy is watching a channel with them which isnt very often.  With the tv, she’s more interested in watching dvd’s and will put one on first thing in a morning which allows me to have a coffee and get their milks/breakfast prepared in peace then the tv goes off until the afternoon if were home when she can watch another dvd while the baby has his nap if she wants to.  Emy likes to play a few sites online but I dont mind these as they are all educational ones and she tends to get fed up after half an hour

It’s interesting how many of you avoid adverts.  We do have adverts, but I point out to the children how manipulative they are.  They are now great critiques of the advert.  It has also produced some interesting talking points especially when I am ranting about the latest formula milk advert!

Yes, they can be educational - and later on I intend to have more discussions with Babes particularly about people in adverts - i.e people don’t really look like that - many pictures are airbrushed, but at present with Babes being just four a half, we feel it’s right not to have a t.v as she has a lot on her plate in terms of learning and finding out just now and other reasons too numerous to mention here…

You don’t need to watch TV adverts to be able to discuss with your kids how manipulative they are. Adverts are everywhewre - on the radio, on giant posters, in papers and magazines. I just feel that even though my kids understand that advertisers don’t care about your happiness or well-being and are only out to get your money, TV advertising in particular is insidious and they are not old enough to withstand it. After all, how many adults still fall for advertising despite knowing what it’s trying to do?

I do try to have screen limits on the PC for me but it’s hard when you work online from home - you kind of need to have the computer on!

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

Yes, I know what you mean Julysea. On the whole I love, love, love my computer as it gives me so many possibilities to contact people that I wouldn’t otherwise have - so it is a case of hopefully using technology as wisely as possible.  Re: adverts - yes, I just notice the effect walking past a single billboard has on Babes - it is incredible.

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