Over the past few years, we have been increasingly aware of the impact that screen time has on our children. Part of that has driven our ethos behind Little Active People. But we are mums too and know it’s hard to get the right balance! Even harder when our husbands are not on the same page as us! It is not uncommon for parents to disagree on the rules and limitations of screen time. So this is why we have put together 5 ways to get your Partner to agree on screen time limits.
Do you struggle too with getting your Partner to agree on screen time limits? Is it having a negative impact on your relationship? We often find that if we are not around, then our Partner’s have let the children sit and watch random programmes for hours or have given them (Daddy’s) phone to occupy them when they are drying their hair after a bath or sat at the dining table.
If you’re like us, we find it frustrating as we have to deal with the consequence! Tired, grumpy, moaning children sound familiar? The problem was though that our nagging and complaining at our husbands to make a change didn’t work! So have a look at our 5 ways to get your Partner to agree on screen time limits:
#1 Try agree on some similar rules
Remember that unless you have very similar backgrounds, it is only natural that you both don’t see eye to eye on how much screen time your children should have.
If not discussed in advance, you are likely to enforce the rules to varying degrees which causes arguments and frustration that rubs off on the children. It is helpful for you both to have an in-depth conversation about why you want to impose limitations. Communication is key to help understand each other.
Beyond ready for squabble free screen time? Discover TimeTokens and empower your kids to manage screen time while having fun! Our award-winning TimeTokens Wallet Set puts the power in your child’s hands (literally) to restore family peace at switch-off time.
#2 Don’t nag your partner
Whilst you may have all the current knowledge on the impact of screen time and what is recommended, they are very unlikely to get on board with your way of thinking if you just nag and complain. Get them to take a read of our blog on Screen time – What’s right for your family. Talk them through your thinking and have a discussion on the latest research.
#3 Understand their point of view
Chat through why they let the children have more access to screentime than yourself. Do they like playing video games and want to do this with the children? Maybe they like watching sport and think it’s great bonding time? Do they like to relax on their phone or watch TV and so just let the children do the same? Maybe they want their children to be tech savvy? Are they not strong enough to deal with the fallout of saying ‘no’ to screentime? Did their upbringing mean that this was their norm (e.g. allowing screentime at the table, at a restaurant etc.)?
One of you may believe that exercise and creativity are being stunted by screens, whilst the other envisions screen time leading to interests in programming, coding, and a successful career. While both of you are looking out for your child’s best interest, you are doing so in opposite ways. Understanding why each of you has your respective views helps to coordinate a compromise that will improve family dynamics.
#4 Work out a family schedule
Try some time off from the screens. Fill in with a regular family board game time, outdoor activity or getting your partner to help with homework. Or rethink about when the screen time is allowed – instead of a late night watching the football, watch the Match of the Day highlights together the next day or schedule in playing the video games together until the afternoon when homework or chores have been completed.
#5 Lead by example
If your partner was always allowed screen time when they were growing up, they might not be aware of other things to do. Start introducing other ways in which they can entertain the children without automatically going to screen time. Play hangman whilst out having dinner, get them to read a book whilst drying their hair or show them the various craft or colouring options you have at home. If they are not confident in saying no to the children or don’t want to deal with the fall out from saying no, talk them through some ways in which you set expectations and follow through. Offer them support and encouragement when they try your methods themselves!
Thank you for reading and hope these 5 ways to get your Partner to agree on screen time limits helps them to see your children being happier and more cooperative and will therefore want to continue to work on the same page as yourself. We have started on this journey ourselves and whilst we have a way to go, we feel that we are working together better as a team so we wish you the best of luck in getting your partner to agree on screen time limits!