We've always said we wanted to be quite strict when it comes to screen time. We're keen that Skye doesn't spend hours in front of the TV or watching things on the iPad or phone. If, in the future, she has a games console we will also limit time spent on that. We've also agreed that we don't really want her to have a television in her room, even when she's a teenager.
To be honest, it's not that hard to keep the TV off at the moment, and she's not that interested in watching it even when it's on. Setting a good example there has been ok. When it comes to our phones though, that's a different story.
I know I'm on my phone a lot, and I'm conscious that I use it a lot in front of Skye. I justify having it on me because I'm always taking lots of pictures but I know that it's mostly because I'm keeping up with messages on Whatsapp and doing plenty of social media sharing on other apps. I also obsessively check my work emails even when I'm not in the office. I shop through my phone, do my online banking on it and a million other things that mean it spends far too much time in my hand and in front of my face.
I recently got the new iOS update, which tells you exactly how much time you're spending on it. It's not good. I average 4 hours per day on my phone, pick it up almost 100 times a day and receive over 150 notifications every day. Pretty horrifying to be honest.
At 14 months, Skye already knows how to swipe, press the home button and hold the phone to her ear. I know it's just play and it's pretty harmless right now but it shows just how much she sees me on it. I've caught myself before looking down at my phone while she's having lunch or tea and basically totally ignoring her. What kind of manners is that teaching her? I've started leaving my phone in another room at mealtimes to avoid the temptation.
I saw a news report recently on families and device use and a 12-year-old girl said that she wished her parents spent less time on their phones and more time talking to her. I really don't want Skye to be that 12 year old.
It's one thing to be aware of it and say these things but it's actually really hard to put them into practice and stop using my phone so much. It's definitely something I need to work on.
Mummy rating on screen time? There's definitely room for improvement!