Now more than ever, almost every form of media is at our fingertips at any time. The rise of smart technology and devices directly increased the interactions with technology that people of all ages experience.
In turn, this increased parents’ concerns about how much time their children are spending in front of screens. Divorced parents may face additional worries on this front. So, what are your options?
The rising concerns with kids and screen time
Screen time and media consumption may not seem like a major issue in the face of other parenting concerns. However, the time your child spends in front of a screen – as well as the media they view – could significantly affect their mental, behavioral and even physical health.
Pew Research Center reports that more than half of parents across the country share the worry that their children spend too much time on their devices. Factoring in parenting after a divorce can often increase that stress.
The main point of concern generally stems from the fact that divorced parents raise their children in two households. Between two households, it can be difficult to be aware of or regulate:
- The content that children consume on their devices
- The actual time they spend on these devices
Additionally, it is not uncommon for divorced parents to want to compete with each other or seem like “the cool parent,” even if it is a subconscious competition. This desire can often lead parents to be relaxed on household rules – including those regarding screen time.
What can divorced parents do about screen time?
You and your ex-spouse can address screen time and the media your child consumes in your parenting agreement. While there are certain matters you must cover in the parenting agreement under North Carolina law, such as the parenting schedule and decision-making responsibilities, you can also address other issues in your daily life. For example, your parenting agreement could include rules about:
- Actual time limits on screen time
- Certain parental controls on devices
- Agreements on the ratings of films or TV that children can watch
Your parenting agreement is not only a legal document discussing your responsibilities. It is also meant to guide you and your ex-spouse as you move forward with co-parenting, and you can address several details that you believe are relevant to your parenting journey – including screen time.