The Circle of Moms site will be discontinued on March 1st, 2020. Head to POPSUGAR Family's Facebook page for more community discussions.

Let's Go >>

Summer vs School Year screen time rules question

Shannon - posted on 07/26/2017 ( 3 moms have responded )




Hello! I have 3 kids - DD age 9, DS age 7, DD age 2 - and all of them LOVE their screen time. I have definitely let them get away with a lot of screen time this summer due to being a SAHM and having some health problems the last few months, but with school about to start in a few weeks I need to reign them in! Older DD has become obsessed with YouTube and wants her own channel - she has even been saying she doesn't like any of her activities anymore and wants to quit (gymnastics, soccer)! She would seriously sit on her butt all day either watching YouTube on the AppleTV or playing on her ipad. Plus all she talks about anymore are these YouTube people and I'm starting to worry about how that will affect her socially once school starts back up. I've heard 4th grade can get ugly with girls around here.

DS loves his screen time, too, but after awhile he will get up and go outside on his own. However, his behavior has been driving me nuts! Granted, he is very much like his father who loves pushing buttons and teasing, and literally since DS could walk he has been taking his big sister's toys to make her mad, etc. Now he does it to both sisters constantly and my house is nonstop wailing and screaming from the girls and laughing by DS. I don't know how much of this is personality related vs needing constant entertainment because of being on screens? Punishment has never worked - to him it is always worth whatever punishment he gets just to get a rise out of his sisters - so while I'm hopeful that having more limits on screen time will help with his behavior towards them, I kind of doubt it.

What has been your experience with screen time this summer and what limits will you be setting once school starts? I need to figure out stricter rules - telling them they can play after homework and chores are done always leads to DS hovering over DD while she does her homework asking "Are you done yet?" over and over. I'm considering a "no screen time during the week" rule but I honestly am not sure I can stick to that. I need them to be occupied while I'm trying to bathe baby DD and getting her to bed, etc, and when they are not on screens they are constantly bothering me with "I'm bored, there's nothing to do!" I am anxious to hear what works for you all!


View replies by

Summer - posted on 02/22/2019





For me, I have always used the 50 percent rule....if they do 1 hour of homework, that earns them 30 minutes of screen time. If they do 2 hours of homework, they get 1 hour of screen time. If they play outside or read a book for an hour, that gets 30 min screen other words they have to earn it.

This has worked out well for us...everyone is given a notebook and we track...I have to approve what qualifies...they can't say eating a bag of potato chips for an hour equals 30 minutes of screen!

Here is the catch though, and the reason we track in notebooks...they can bank for the weekend...I do not give "free" screen time on weekend, all has to be earned. So if they want to watch 4 hours of TV on the weekend, they have to earn 8 hours of screen time during the week. What this does is LIMITS screen time during week, and then puts it more on weekends.

They really have no complaints, but started them all out young on this system. Also, if they get resistant, I will spank them if needed. That works just as good...and no, sitting on a warm bottom for an hour after a spanking does not earn screen time! Yes they have tried that one on me!!


Rachael - posted on 02/17/2019




Our screen time rules don't change. Cell phones are off when you are home. We have a landline they could use until 7pm then phones are off limits. Our laptop is in the living room if you're doing homework there's no limit. My 15 year old gets 30 minutes of screen time twice a week. The younger children get 30 minutes once a week.

Shenequa - posted on 07/31/2017




I feel your pain and I have the same issues with my two youngest children. My oldest is 19 so I don’t even bother her about her phone anymore. With my other two who are 14 and 12, it is a battle to monitor how much time they are on the phones. I have been more relaxed this summer with them, however I do set boundaries. I don’t let them have their phones or allow them to watch tv from the time they wake up till the time they go to bed. I’ve enrolled them in summer camps for part of the summer to help get them out of the house in order to socialize, have fun, and learn new skills. If they haven’t completed their chores, they can’t play on their phones or watch tv. They great thing about having kids close in age is that they can play together if they don’t have neighborhood friends to play with. They can read, play board games, or practice their sports activities. I try to balance the amount of time they have with the phone with the amount of work they have done (school work, chores, etc). If they read for 30 mins, they get their phone for 30 mins. If they do their chores, they can get their phone, etc. Once school resumes, I will probably let them take their phones to school, but when they get home, the phones are put away until they finish their homework. Keep communicating with the kids but set boundaries. Expect resistance from them but don’t let the phones and other devices take the place of time you could be spending with them or having them do something more beneficial.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms