Screen Time Rules

Two Moms, Two Experiments In Less Screen Time

Delaney Ruston, MD
July 27, 2021
Girl and mom reading

A few weeks ago, a longtime neighbor, Jamie, who has become a dear friend, shared with me about her screen-free family Sundays with her twin nine-year-olds, 14-year-old and 16-year-old:


“About a year ago, we decided to start screen-free Sundays with the hope of unplugging and getting some family time. … because I felt decision fatigue. [The kids would say]... can I watch this? Or what about that? Or I've done my two hours, but it's not over? Or can I do one more? It just felt like I needed one day where I can just say no, we're not doing this. And you'll have to figure something else out. And I think as a mom, I like some sense of rhythm. “


Jamie explained there are some screen-time exceptions, but it is pretty darn screen-free for the most part. When Jamie started Screen-Free Sundays, they planned to just try it out for a month so she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the experiment. 

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So how has it gone? I ask her this in this week’s podcast.

I also talk with a mom in Alaska who prioritizes reading in her family in all sorts of ways including keeping screens at bay when they read.  Hear from her and her kids about the ways they have stronger family togetherness through reading and how screens are put away during such times. 

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To listen to the podcast, go here — it is only 15 minutes. 

Here are some questions to help spark the podcast — listening conversation. (If you put the podcast on 1.5 speed, it’s only 10 minutes;)

  1. After listening to the podcast together, ask the family if there is a screen-free time in the week that would work for everyone. 
  2. Do they think within that screen-free time would they like to have some exceptions? If so, what are the exceptions?
  3. What does everyone in the family think are the pros of having a designated time off screens? What are the cons?

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Screen Time Rules

Two Moms, Two Experiments In Less Screen Time

Delaney Ruston, MD
July 27, 2021
Girl and mom reading

A few weeks ago, a longtime neighbor, Jamie, who has become a dear friend, shared with me about her screen-free family Sundays with her twin nine-year-olds, 14-year-old and 16-year-old:


“About a year ago, we decided to start screen-free Sundays with the hope of unplugging and getting some family time. … because I felt decision fatigue. [The kids would say]... can I watch this? Or what about that? Or I've done my two hours, but it's not over? Or can I do one more? It just felt like I needed one day where I can just say no, we're not doing this. And you'll have to figure something else out. And I think as a mom, I like some sense of rhythm. “


Jamie explained there are some screen-time exceptions, but it is pretty darn screen-free for the most part. When Jamie started Screen-Free Sundays, they planned to just try it out for a month so she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the experiment. 

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for more like this, DR. DELANEY RUSTON'S NEW BOOK, PARENTING IN THE SCREEN AGE, IS THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR TODAY’S PARENTS. WITH INSIGHTS ON SCREEN TIME FROM RESEARCHERS, INPUT FROM KIDS & TEENS, THIS BOOK IS PACKED WITH SOLUTIONS FOR HOW TO START AND SUSTAIN PRODUCTIVE FAMILY TALKS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND IT’S IMPACT ON OUR MENTAL WELLBEING.  

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