In recent years there has been much hype about kids watching too much TV, and then about kids spending too much time on the computer. There are different opinions and recommendations from different experts about how much is too much. I have finally developed a system that can save parents everywhere the headache and worry about whether their kids are getting too much screen time. If your kid has any of the following symptoms, you need to start setting those time limits.
You know your kids get too much screen time when:
1. The following conversations and questions can be heard at your house:
“Mom, when will I be too old to walk?” “I don’t know, honey. Why do you
ask?” “Because then I can go to The Scooter Store!”
“Mom, what’s a Hover-round?”
“I thought only men talked about Medicare!” (After seeing Delta Burke’s commercial for Liberty Medical Supply. Prior to this she had only seen one where a man talked.)
–Note: all of these conversations took place during The Price is Right. What does that say about the target audience of the game show?
2. Your child who can’t read can identify a Geico commercial simply by seeing
3. Your 18-month-old, upon seeing the UK Wildcat pawprint symbol, cries out, “A clue! A clue!”
4. Your daughter, while playing with her dolls or imaginary friends, keeps telling them to “click on the star!”
5. You not only have the DragonTales theme song memorized, but also every one of the songs that plays in the middle of the show’s two segments.
6. Your not-quite-2-year-old correctly exclaims, “Clifford coming on!” when the end credits of Curious George start rolling.
7. The same not-quite-2-year-old answers not only to Catherine (her real name), but thanks to her imaginative older sister, to Boots (from Dora), Max (from DragonTales), and Honey (from Berenstain Bears) as well.
8. Your solely-English-speaking daughter can consistently be heard shouting phrases like “Vamanos!”, “Abre!”, and “Corre, Dora, corre!”
9. Your four-year-old shouts, “NO, IT”S NOT!!” so loudly that the insurance lady on the phone hears and comments on it, thinking your kids are fighting. In reality, your child is just mad again at the voice on the video that insists, “Nick Jr. is just for me!”
Finally, you know your four year old is getting too much screen time…
10. When, faced with the choice of getting her computer time or joining her younger sister in watching the new Blue’s Clues video, your oldest child wrestles with the options, agonizes over the choice and finally dissolves into tears. The pressure of which screen to choose is just too much.