This mum is sick of fighting the endless screen time battle with her toddler.

Turning to MoM answers for some advice the mum shared, “How much screen time is appropriate for a 3 yr old?

“I’ve tried keeping TV/iPad and phones away and then I’ve included it as a reward at the end of the week but my 3 yr old is obsessed and asks us non-stop.

“I’ve decided to just throw in the towel and let him have it more often (still keeping the times and duration to what I think is appropriate) in the hopes that he will loose interest like he has with a lot of his toys and stop obsessing over it. Any advice?”

MoM answers

One mum said, “Pretty sure kids under 3 should have zero screen time, which is difficult, my son watches movies and stuff!
But I think from 3 onwards, not more than 1 hour a day? We are trying to go off it more and more!
I find if we ever cut screen time out completely, that they stop asking for it because they realise they won’t get it.”

Another mum said she wouldn’t be giving him any! “None in my opinion. I know it’s unrealistic, but ideally children shouldn’t have a lot of screen time until they are at least 7 because their brains are really sensitive at this time.”

“I feel like the recommendation can be so unrealistic. We are busy mums and often have a handful going on. I think if it’s educational then why not. Obviously treating it like a reward will only mean they’d crave it more. Make it feel the norm and they will be bored in no time”, wrote another.

Another shared, “I find that trying to distract my son with other activities works. Limiting it to one or two shows a day – usually just before bed so that he has something to look forward to. It s a matter of changing the routine so he doesn’t expect to watch shows.
There are still days though when I need to get things done and the ipad comes out.”

We have some great tips here to help if anyone needs - 5 Tricks for Getting Kids off Devices Without a Tantrum

Share your tips below


  • Who’s the parent here? Who’s in charge? Seems to me pretty clear what needs to be done, don’t battle, just do!

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  • I have 13yr old twin boys and an 11 yr old girl and my kids are limited to 10 hours of screen time per week!

    Yes I’m a tough mum but one day they will thank me for the fact that I made them go outside and play

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  • It’s a tough one, maybe try and distract them with something else.

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  • We were in the same boat. We tried limiting times, timers, “broken” excuses but the nagging was relentless. In the end we just put all the screens away. It was really crap for about a week from tears and nagging but since then, the kids haven’t asked for a screen at all. They just know they aren’t going to get it.

    Reply


  • I always limited the boys to tv for 1/2 hour once they were ready for school and in the afternoon it was an hour once their homework was done. I also turned off the internet so they could only use any game that was downloaded. They soon got bored and would go out and play with their friends instead. Worked for me but won’t necessarily work for many others

    Reply


  • My friend told her daughter the red You Tube button was broken after she removed it from the iPad. She continued to ask for a number of hours, but from that day it has not been an issue. You are the parent first and must set boundaries for your child. I absolutely know they can wear you down, but you have to stick to your guns.

    Reply


  • My now 9yr old had a tablet, threw it once on the floor when she was very angry. It broke beyond repair. So far we chose to never replace it. She has been trying to break her sisters tablet as well (out of jealousy), when that breaks we `will replace it.

    Reply


  • Children are getting younger and younger, using devices. It’s such a tough subject as everyone believes different, but like everything what might work for one family might not for another, it’s all personal choice.


    • You have to do what you think is right, don’t be bothered by other people’s opinion.

    Reply


  • It may take effort in part of the parent. We’re all guilty of it but to inspire another activity you may have to get down and play, too. That can be more exciting for them when mum is involved. My daughter loves it if I play a board game with her or cards like snap are so simple and quick results.


    • Kids do love games and they love it when their parents join in and play board games, card games and with toys.

    Reply


  • My son knows he can watch things (educational) when I’m getting ready for work in the morning or at the end of a long day when I’m getting dinner ready. Hes 2 and while he asks for it sometimes all day, I’m the mum and I say no. If he doesn’t like that – tough! We go and play outside or do some drawing or something and soon enough hes forgotten all about it

    Reply


  • When you take the iPad away do you tell him to go and play, or do you sit and do something with him? Reading a book, playing a game or with his fave toy may help him transition better, with less tantrums. Good luck with your battle

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  • I let my kids use the iPad but I only have educational games and educational programs like mister maker on it

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  • Zero time ideally but I think a few hours a week. Whatever you can manage to enforce and if it is educational it will be a tad better than non educational use.

    Reply


  • Once my daughter was about 4 I started negotiating with her and explaining her options to her so she could choose her response. It was rough to start but eventually it worked well and still does now and she is 8

    Reply


  • It is so hard, I can see it in my 2 yr old. The only thing that makes it better is zero time! But that is hard,

    Reply

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