Ask @DadandBuried: My Kids Get too Much Screen Time. Am I a Bad Parent?
Kids are getting a lot of screen time during the pandemic. Is it too much? Here's what Mike Julianelle—aka @DadandBuried—thinks about it.
Get Great Spring Activities - in your inbox!
Handpicked Spring Family Activities in Your Inbox!
Sent every weekend
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but our kids may be having the roughest time of all. They might not always show it—kids are resilient as hell! They may not even know it—therapists are going to have a field day unpacking pandemic trauma in about 10 years. But our kids have been forced to adapt to this unprecedented time in unprecedented ways.
Not only were they yanked out of school with no warning, they've had to spend the better part of two school years at home, without 1-on-1 teacher interaction, without classmates, without friends. My 10-year-old has been hit hard, and sometimes his extra screen time is what happens when my wife and I need some adult time. Playing Roblox online or having a Netflix party are the only ways he gets to interact with his friends. So, we cut him some slack.
Now, things may get challenging when it’s time to transition back to “normal,” or at least some version of it. And human interaction will be more necessary than ever. Some bad habits that were acquired during a year stuck at home may need to be broken—weaning them off the PlayStation is going to be on us. So, we’d all better dust off those parenting chops and get ready for a rough re-entry.
But until then, my kids can plug themselves into the Matrix for all I care! And unless you’re doing that, you’re a better parent than I am. At least you’ve got that going for you.