Mom's Viral Post Shows Positive Effects of Banning Kids' Screen Time
Molly DeFrank was shocked by how much better her kids behaved without an iPad.
While the research is still in its early stages, recent studies on the effects screen time has on kids indicates that anything over two hours a day can lead to lower cognitive function and vision impairment. Even if you believe that these initial findings are alarmist, there's no denying that children spend far more time watching Peppa Pig on their iPads these days than playing outside or reading. Perhaps that's why a recent Facebook post from mommy blogger Molly DeFrank has gone viral, detailing how she cut out screen time entirely for her kids.
On October 7th, DeFrank posted a photo on Facebook of her kids reading in bed. "Months ago, we removed screen time from our kids," she wrote. "Why? Because my precious babies were acting like demogorgons."
DeFrank went on to say that, even though they only previously allowed their kids an hour of screen time per day, "the screens apparently muted their creativity, caused grumpiness, fighting and whining." Once she pulled the plug—literally—they "protested for a hot minute and then we all moved on."
According to DeFrank, the effects were extraordinary. "Seriously, it was like I had my kids back," she wrote. "I watched my kids go from screen-dependent to cooperatively playing, creating, and even making their own 'school.' I couldn't believe how easy it was."
In fact, just a few weeks into their digital detox, the kids saw their parents reading in bed and decided to join them. It certainly seems like they've taken to the habit, and DeFrank's daughter has even "grown five reading levels in seven months."
We did not stage this photo. Months ago we removed screen time from our kids. Why? Because my precious babies were…
DeFrank's post was shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page, where it received over 50,000 likes in just a few days. Parents loved the idea, and many chimed in to say they'd done something similar and seen the same positive impact.
"I took [the iPad] away during the week and only allow one hour on the weekends and my kids are finally getting their imaginations back," one Facebook user wrote. "And they only get to use it after doing two chores each. Wish I would have done this years ago!"
Granted, some parents said that they don't think it's necessary to ban screen time altogether, but the chorus for limiting their screen exposure and fostering a love for books was pretty much unanimous.
"Screen time is a privilege, not a right," one Facebook user wrote. "It must be earned and then it is timed and turned off."
And if you want to beat your family's tech dependency, read up on how one family did it here: My Entire Family Is Addicted to Screens. Here's What I Did About It.