My kids get more screen time than they should.
Because occasionally I need time to get stuff done around the house without being asked what I’m doing a hundred times.
But how can you tell if your child is spending too much time on your phone or tablet? Here are 15 signs (that are completely made up and should not be taken literally in any way) your kid might be addicted:
1. You know the words to most of their favorite YouTube videos. Including at least one in a foreign language.
2. No matter how many times you clean the screen, it is always covered in tiny, greasy streaks.
3. You have chosen restaurants based solely on their WiFi availability.
4. Your memory is always full because your child is constantly playing with the camera. Right now, you probably have at least a hundred pictures of the floor and ceiling. And another hundred “selfies” they took making the same exact face.
5. You know what “surprise egg” videos are. You don’t understand them, or why they have millions of views. But you’re aware of their existence.
6. You’ve learned — the hard way — to disable in-app purchases.
7. You’ve learned — the hard way — to log out of your social media accounts so your kids don’t post on them.
8. Your child has a nickname for their favorite electronic device.
9. At some point, your kid has tried to “swipe” everything, from the TV to magazines to picture frames.
10. You never know where anything is because your child is constantly moving all the apps into a single folder.
11. You don’t understand how anyone ever potty trained before smart phones and tablets were invented.
12. The first words your child learned to read were “Skip Ad.”
13. When it freezes or something goes wrong, you ask your child to fix it for you.
14. You own at least one back-up electronic device just in case the battery dies.
15. In fact, you own at least three chargers (including one for the car) to avoid it dying at all costs.
You may be a parent who chooses to limit screen time — which I both respect and admire.
But any parent who has tried to subdue a hangry toddler while waiting for their food at a restaurant understands. Any parent who has tried to call customer service with a child hanging from each leg understands:
Sometimes having peace is better than being right, and sometimes your kid getting extra screen time is better than losing what’s left of your sanity.