Before I had kids I had these grand ideas of the kind of mom I'd be. I would do all the right things from the start like making sure they were on a sleep schedule, eating their vegetables, and limiting their screen time. It seemed easy enough to do all of the above because I was the parent and ultimate authority in our house after all. Seems easy enough, right?
All of these ideas I had about parenting quickly gave way to reality. And the reality is, parenting is hard and a majority of what you thought about parenting before you became one might not work with your own child. Even if it does, what works for one of your children, likely won't work for the other one.
While I still have high hopes for creating a sleep schedule that my girls will actually follow (i.e. going to bed at night without 15 million warnings and staying in their own bed all night) and getting them to eat their vegetables regularly (pickles don't count), I am making strides towards limiting their screen time…if even just small ones.
3 Tips for Limiting Screen Time
1. Set the example. My husband and I both work from home and are available pretty much 24/7. With blogging, I never know when the situation will arise I need to snap a pic to share on Instagram or if I need to make sure I have photos from a business opportunity that I need to document. While I feel justified in my screen time, my kids see this and subconsciously I think this makes them crave their own screen.
Try setting limits or parameters for yourself and your spouse for screen time such as no screens during mealtime, before school, etc. It's amazing how much we look at our own devices constantly just out of habit.
2. Set limits. Reducing screen time will be a big adjustment at first but like every bad habit, will get easier as time goes on. Establish a schedule for the amount of time and the type of screen time that can take place. It's hard to cut out screen time entirely during the week with kids that require it for their homework. Be realistic with the parameters so that the new limits stick and are the new norm.
3. Offer alternatives. When your kids are addicted to screens, they forget what it's like to play…with other kids, with toys, and by themselves. Having a list of things they can do will help remind them that's there life beyond the screen and the joy of imaginative play.
My favorite toys for encouraging imaginative play are the ones that have open-ended possibilities like Littlest Pet Shop! My girls have been fawning all over the boxes and have seen the videos about the products, but now they're finally able to play with them and the possibilities are limitless for how much fun they can have together…without a screen!
Brady my almost 8 year old is an animal lover so the Littlest Pet Shop Pet Shop Playset is perfect for her. It's a pet shop that most pets would actually like to be in. This multi-level pet shop has a rooftop playground, a tunnel slide, a hamster ball, as well as several different areas for up to 30 pets to hang out together. This playset comes with three pets including one with glitter and two additional pet friends.
At 4, Colby is totally into play food and and serving up the tastiest pretend treats in Austin so the Littlest Pet Shop Pawristas Cafe Playset was for her. She loves taking the animal's orders, brewing coffee, baking delicious sweet treats, and doing a little karaoke at open mic night! I love that each playset allows for 180 degree play allowing the girls to play solo or together!