The Great Debate: Should kids have screentime limits?

Should kids have limits to how much time they can dedicate to a screen?
Should kids have limits to how much time they can dedicate to a screen?

Each week we debate the topics that drive you nuts.

Yes

Carmelle Wilkinson, Real Estate Reporter

I’m a pretty chilled Mum. I let my kids have sugar before they were 12 months old and I don’t believe in strict bedtimes.

But one thing I am trying to promote, is adequate usage of all electronic devices.

My kids are 7 and 5 and while I believe screentime has its benefits, kids should be monitored so they don’t abuse it.

Excess screentime is not only damaging to their young eyes (straight from my optometrists’ mouth) it stunts their creativity and encourages little couch potatoes. And if I don’t restrict them, they could quite happily sit there for hours watching other kids play with toys on YouTube.

Not having a limit on screentime is like sending your child to the candy store with your credit card – dangerous and unhealthy.

No

Rachel Fenner, Social Media Producer

I don’t feel bad about giving my kids unlimited screen-time.

My parents didn’t limit my screen-time growing up and it hasn’t left me with any major deficits.

Each of my children has access to a TV and a mobile device.

But I don’t worry about their screen-time.

Why? Because they love to read.

Every fortnight my husband takes them to the second-hand bookstore.

My 14-year-old will buy a pile of YA fiction, the 12-year-old has just discovered action novels and the five-year-old will grab a copy of anything about dinosaurs.

When I get home from work the three of them will be sitting on the couch with their noses in a book.

Okay, maybe not the five-year-old – he doesn’t have the attention span to do anything for very long and that includes looking at a screen.