Many parents struggle with limiting their kids’ screen time. After all, sometimes it seems like the only thing that will end a tantrum is letting them watch “Moana” for the 100th time or handing them your phone to play a game.
While iPads and other screens might be a lifesaver for many moms and dads, the royal family is saying no to too much screen time. In fact, Prince William and Kate Middleton have gone so far as to ban iPads at home.
“They’re very much seen as Mummy and Daddy’s toys, not for children,” a source told Us Weekly. “As two people who grew up without gadgets for entertainment themselves, William and Kate are firm believers in toys, outdoor play and encouraging an active imagination.”
Instead, 4-year-old George likes to take bike rides with his dad, while Charlotte, 2, helps mum out in the kitchen (which, we’re assuming, means she plays with pots and pans on the floor while her mom cooks).
“They’re very much a normal family,” another source told Us Weekly.
William and Kate aren’t the only famous parents who are strict about how much time they allow their kids to spend playing with electronic devices.
Other Celeb Parents Who Keep Close Watch On Screen Time
Reality star Kourtney Kardashian enforces time limits when it comes to screens.
“Now that all my kids are over the age of two, I do allow them limited time to play video games and watch television,” Kardashian explained on her app, according to ET Online. “We have a game room, so I allow 30 minutes of video game time during the week and an hour on the weekends.”
Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez said back in 2015 that she had instituted a system called “Sunday Funday” in her home. Her twins Max and Emme, now 9, could use tablets and play video games only on Sundays.
“All they want to do is be on these devices all the time. They get to play with it as much as they want that day,” she told E! News. “I try to regulate it and then on Sunday, I let them go and I take a nap while they’re doing it.”
Hugh Jackman also instituted a no-screen rule during the week back when his children were young. He explained to People back in 2011 that he and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, implemented the rule in part because of how little downtime their kids were able to have—and they didn’t want the downtime they did have to be spent in front of a screen.
“They seem to be at school longer than ever,” Jackman said. “They have all sorts of after school activities. By the time you have eaten and showered and dressed, it is over. So there is not much time for it anyway.”
Now that his son, Oscar, is 17 and his daughter, Ava, is 12, it’s likely the rules may be more lax.
So What Do The Experts Say?
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a number of guidelines related to children’s media use:
- For children younger than 18 months, use of screen media should be avoided (except for video-chatting).
- For children aged 18-24 months, exposure to digital media should consist of high-quality programming and should be watched with parents to help them understand what they’re watching.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, screen time should be limited to just one hour per day of high-quality programs.
- For children ages 6 and older, parents should place consistent limits on the time spent using media, ensuring that media use does not interfere with adequate sleep and physical activity.
- Parents should designate media-free times and locations, such as dinner and bedrooms.
- Communication is key. Parents should have an open dialogue with their children about online citizenship and safety.
The AAP notes that it doesn’t promote a one-size-fits-all approach, and that families should work together to find the balance.
“Families should proactively think about their children’s media use and talk with children about it, because too much media use can mean that children don’t have enough time during the day to play, study, talk, or sleep,” said Jenny Radesky, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, “Media and Young Minds,” which focuses on infants, toddlers and pre-school children. “What’s most important is that parents be their child’s ‘media mentor.’ That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn.”
The AAP has also provided an online tool that includes a media time calculator to help parents plan for their families media use policies.
Watch the video below for more information about the AAP’s tool and how to use it for your own family:
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAIVRZ6pkoo” /]
What kind of screen time do you allow in your home?