5 Crazy Things Happened When We Reduced Screen Time in our Home


5 Crazy Things Happened When We Reduced Screen Time in our Home

If you have ever debated less screen time for your children I am here to warn you of some of the dangers that lie ahead. You should consider some of these hazards before you take that tablet away and release your kids out in the world.

I always considered my children and myself as having a mild to moderate screen addiction. They didn’t use their tablets daily and they were not on them hours on end. However I still felt that we were using tablets a little too frequently. For instance we would bring them to restaurants as “back-up” plans but always seemed to whip them out before we even ordered food if we went to my oldest son’s sporting events we made sure to bring them to occupy the other 2 kids.

I am a typical mom plagued with mom guilt and self doubt that overthinks most things related to parenting. One day I had a thought I couldn’t get out of my head:

I was not raised with a screen in front of my face and I don’t want my kids to grow up this way any longer.

I want my kids to learn to be bored learn to sit at a restaurant learn to use their imagination like I did when I was a kid.

Not to mention for me I had a greater nagging factor. I can’t fully describe it but technology didn’t look good for my kids. I am not talking about using computers at school or watching television occasionally. I am talking about how irritable and engaged my kids were after they were on their tablets.

For instance my daughter would panic if I turned off her tablet after she spent an hour watching weird YouTube videos of grown men playing playing with kid’s toys. I would have to hide her tablet from her and watch her basically feign for it.

And it’s not just me there are many studies showing the negative effects of overusing screen time. Check out this must read post on Screen Viewing Effects on Children.

After minimal discussion my husband and I reluctantly agreed to detox from technology using a cold-turkey method. We hid all of my childrens’ tablets and watched them emerge into the bright and scary world.

When we did this five of the craziest things happened immediately.

1) Code Green!

Your children will most likely go outside more if you reduce their screen time the outdoors are packed with countless hazards.

First your child will probably run around a lot more. When children run they are at risk of falling and scraping their knees their little throats may start to hurt from yelling and laughing outside. 

Your children may even be exposed to more fresh air. Yikes is that stuff safe?

2) Dirt Alert

If you hate giving your children baths avoid taking away their screen time they will I repeat will get dirtier if they are playing compared to sitting on the couch. 

If you value clean floors over your children’s new experiences you want to make sure to avoid reducing screen time. Fun experiences require your children to get a little dirty, sweaty or sticky sometimes.

There is even a chance that you will have to see a worm.

3) Friends = Double Trouble 

With less screen time there is a good chance that your children will socialize more with other kids and adults. If this happens you might have more dirty feet running through your house. Or you may need to buy more juice boxes to hand out to your new little guests.

Your child will practice their interaction skills and they won’t even know it. They might even make some life long friends while they are at it.

If you can’t bare the thought of parting with your extra juice boxes then this lifestyle is not for you.

4) Look out for the Earlier Bedtime!

Do you enjoy your children calling for one more glass of water at 10PM? If you do you want to avoid hiding their tablets.

When your children are busy mentally or physically, they will tire earlier. When we stopped relying on tablets through out the day our kids were forced to actually play more. Nothing wears a kid out more than real actual play time.

If the thought of having a kid free hour at the end of the night to watch HGTV makes your skin crawl then pretend like you never read this.

5) Imagination? Appalling!

A magical thing will happen when your kids are bored. They will be forced to use their imagination to play.

When I was a kid, my mom would tell my siblings and I to go play and we would gather sticks build forts, play imagination for hours. We didn’t have fancy or expensive toys. We literally played with sticks and we loved it.

To become functioning adults kids needs to learn how to experience the feeling of ‘boredom’ and learn to engage and entertain themselves. I think this is the most important side effect of screen time reduction that there is.

You Have Been Warned!

When you take away the tablets there will be more messes more children running around, and more yelling. However I feel that this raises happier and healthier children. Children who learn to interact use their imagination and deal with boredom.

Did we completely eliminate the tablets? No. However when we detoxed from the tablets my children learned to live life without them. My daughter instantly grabs for a coloring book and crayons when she is bored and my 2 sons get out their lego’s.

We started to spend quality time together. We played outdoor sports as a family went on hikes and had dance parties in our kitchen. For our family all of the ‘scary dangers’ proved to be worth the risk.




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