Am I mean for limiting my child’s tablet screen time?

Up until a few months ago we had one iPad which the whole family shared. The boys would share the iPad between them and watch random things on YouTube. We talked about upgrading our iPad to a newer version as it is almost 5 years old and was freezing and crashing regularly. I was happy to upgrade but I was against buying two new ones just so the boys could have one each. I didn’t think there was any need to have more than one – especially as they are so expensive!

Boys on the ipad

Then, out of the blue one of Mr H’s work colleagues gave his old iPad to us because he had bought a new one so we ended up with two. It actually came at quite a good time because we were heading to Hamburg for a long weekend and as we were not sitting altogether on the plane, it meant that we could keep each child entertained separately.

Since then, the boys have had the use of an iPad each and they have somehow gotten into the habit of being allowed to use them every day after school by my mother-in-law and it’s turned into a bit of a problem because they have both become obsessed with it!

It’s all they seem to ask for and it I think it’s getting out of control. They sit there side by side whilst one watches YouTube and the other plays games.

Now I am far from against using technology myself. I work on computers day in, day out as does Mr H but when they are still so little it seems a shame that they just want to sit in front of the tablet for hours on end (if I let them) and not play with their toys or each other.

We have had some major meltdowns (even after having given them a countdown to let them know when to switch off) and I just think it needs to stop.

Last summer we conducted the TV experiment and it made me realise that we didn’t need the TV on all the time as background noise. The boys were, and still, are (generally) happy to play and entertain themselves without it. It just seems to be that the iPad has now become a new obsession.

I’m not saying to ban them completely because they do have benefits and are known to aid children’s learning. I just think that having them every day for an hour or so is too much.

Ideally, I’d like to limit their use to weekends as a treat. Am I being a mean mum if I don’t let them have the iPad every day?

Do you limit your child’s tablet screen time? What are your thoughts on me limiting it to weekends only?


  1. Luckily when the weather is dry my two are always outside playing, but they do get square eyes syndrome in the wet weeks and I am constantly having to find a way to distract them away from the screens! Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix hon

    Stevie x

  2. My girls are about the same age as your littlies, they don’t play on our tablet at all. Although I know my eldest girl does at her dads but that’s because they don’t have a tv. My sister used to let eldest play games on her phone but every single time it had to be given back there was major now they arnt aloud that either. At this age I don’t see the point in them using it. If they want to watch TV or movies we’ve got now TV & Netflix which they can watch on our TV. So no your not mean at all 🙂 I however am the evil mum 😉

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  4. My boy is not massively into telly watching luckily. However, he gets the ipad and can play with the CBeebies app or watch children YouTube (mostly animated nursery songs). This is limited to 30 min max, but he clearly favours tablet to telly. He doesn’t have a routine, some days he doesn’t get it at all. I believe, he’s learned a good number of things and he plays with the games correctly even though he’s not even 3yo. We never explained to him, he worked it out all by himself.
    Sometimes, I have to admit, I use it as a baby sitter, like when trying to put the terrible sleeper 8months old for a nap and I need to keep him quiet.
    Ultimately, daddy is an IT guy, and he believes that they need to learn how to operate a computer as early as possible

  5. I must be super mean! I only ever let them on iPads if we are on holiday – for the journey, or playing with their cousins. We watch one film a week on a Friday after school, and it’s probably on for the kids another once in the week. I didn’t watch a lot of TV as a child, and I almost forget it’s there. When it’s on it’s because they need some downtime. I don’t think knowing how to use a computer or an iPad is important for a child in the slightest. Now I will go and hide!!!! x

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