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Do you limit screen time..what are your thoughts? 

I really do think I should be. I’d also be interested to hear some thoughts on this…

Well i have said to mine only tablets after 4pm.  However if we’ve had a busy morning outside in the fresh air or one of us isn’t feeling well i bend the rule!
I do find they play / learn / explore and get outside so much better if i limit screen time.

This is one I’ve battled with myself over the past 15yrs of being a parent. I’ve read all the books like “toxic childhood” and terrified myself silly over some of the things it’s said. I’ve battled with my children over it and sometimes I go crazy with it all.

I’ve done various things over the years, limited it quite strongly, not had any limits at all and now we’re settled into a pattern of keeping an eye on their screen use. My two teens are not limited however, there are rules. We home educate and the older two are quite structured. At lot of their work is done on the laptops so that is free to use whenever they need to with no limits at all. My son also enjoys games design and teaching himself how to fix PC issues etc so I don’t limit that either - I think it’s too valuable a learning opportunity for him for me to turn it into something he shouldn’t be doing. However, they do have limits on “gaming”. Everything on their list must be done before they can start gaming. My son’s in particular (as he’s the big gamer!) is to get his academic work done, his chores and a 30 minute workout of his choice (this is often going to the park with his sister or going for a run). Once everything is done, he’s free to do what he chooses. Sometimes the screen time is dumped in favour of meeting up with friends, sometimes it’s not. When he does play games it’s normally with online friends (who are normally real life friends playing at the same time) and they tend to skype while they’re playing. Over the week he meets up with friends, goes to evening clubs and classes and we visit family too so I don’t worry too much. It’s the world he is growing up in and is very possibly going to be the career choice he makes so limiting that too much is giving the impression it’s a bad thing when in fact it is a pretty cool career to get into. However, it’s also important to show the health implications if you’re sat at a desk/screen all day every day, hence why I encourage doing various things throughout the week. (That also goes for people who work 40hrs a week at a computer and then come home and watch tv/go on facebook!)

My 5yr old has slightly more stricter limits although we do try and not to make such a big thing about it. I don’t want to turn it into some forbidden fruit that he’s craving. He goes on first thing in the morning for a bit (normally an hour). It’s usually something like minecraft which he is pretty amazing at when it comes to creating fantastic structures (he built the titanic the other day!) Then we tend to do stuff together all day - either go out to meet friends/go to clubs/classes or if we stay in we play board games or bake etc. Then he can go on again in the late afternoon for an hour or two before tea (if we’re not out which we are 2-3 times a week). Again, I try and just show that you can’t sit at it all day everyday as it’s not good for your body/eyes but also that it is an amazing learning tool with the possibility of finding out anything you want to. TV is used as and when we feel the need throughout the days we are in but it is less “needed” by my children.

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