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A Daily Parenting Advice Podcast. Non-Pretentious. In less than 3min a day!

S5-Ep211 - The Minimum Amount of Screen Time per Week

July 26, 2019

 Just recently I read an article about a mother who limits their kids screen time to an hour and a half – per week. And being a competitive person, I wondered if I could get there with my kids. Now, I didn’t attempt it, it was just a passing thought (side note – analyzing things like this and even passing on the idea --- that’s another example of mindfulness – That’s the goal – to raise kids who can independently evaluate the multi facets of an argument). Anyway – there is no minimum number of hours of screen time that kids should have – it doesn’t exist. There is a minimum number for playing outside (Play 60). There is for school (8 hours). There is for sleep. There is for calories. Generally Less is Better.

 But as much as I want everyone to put down the screens and let their children play or be bored (that decision is up to them). I’m kind of (but just kind of) ok with the show part of the tv time. I mean it’s not how kids brains work – they don’t absorb things flashed at them. But It’s the advertising that I hate!

   To me watching advertising the learning of all the worst shit that exists for the human race. Tacos aren’t just tacos like dad makes – they’re milti layer cheese and shell and who knows what. Toys aren’t just some trucks; they are flashing sirens, with water guns and an app. Even as an adult you can’t watch a snuggie commercial and say, I bet that dude wearing it is super ambitious. You know it’s a lazy man’s blanket.

So the advertising industry has hijacked our brains. As far as I can tell, there is no good answer here. There is no easy solution. Advertisers have figured out how to short circuit our senses, and create a culture all their own. And they’ll happily do the same for our kids. Our DNA – and our kids DNA want’s sugary cokes, and flashy lights – and they’ve exploited that. Since modifying our DNA seems: hard then all I can really ask you to do is to fall back on that lesson from Mr Rogers (a tv show – I get the irony) and let them play.