Parents everywhere struggle with screen time limits, trying to figure out how much is too much.
One California mom has a message: "Stop letting YouTube raise your kids."
Destiny Bennett, a mom of three kids, told "Good Morning America" that some people were offended by her post on Instagram. But she's O.K. with that.
Bennett said that she herself struggled with letting her kids have too much screen time. "Then I started learning more about conscious parenting, and it really started bothering me," she said.
She wrote in part, "Kids are a product of the information they’re exposed to and it really bothers me to see kids interacting with a tablet or tv screen more than their own parents. We brought these kids into the world, they did not ASK to be here and we as parents have NO EXCUSE to not give them the best existence possible. There is no excuse for a being a lazy parent, there is no excuse for not having time for your child because they ARE the main priority. Ryan’s toy reviews, Tik tok videos, gaming channels etc do not know what’s best for your child and they can not instill the morals and values in your child that they need to grow up and be the best version of themselves. There is no learning show that they can watch all day that replaces or measures up to what you can teach them and the experience they will gain from it. There’s no excuse in the world why your child shouldn’t be on a schedule that offers them more than being mindlessly sucked into a screen all day. The truth hurts but I will always keep it 100% when it comes to parenting because these kids DESERVE 👏🏽 IT 👏🏽 . I WAS that mom but I apologized to my kids for that time lost and I will NEVER be that mom again."
She said that while other kids were learning piano or a second language, she felt like hers were on YouTube all day. So, she and her husband decided to set limits.
"I realized we could be offering them so much more and if we don't do it no one else will," she said.
Since she's cut down their screen time to 5pm - 7pm each day, she's found that not only are the kids able to entertain themselves in other ways, but she's happier as well.
"I had major mom guilt," Bennett said. "Now I'm in a more intentional relationship with my kids."
Once she made the change, Bennett said she started noticing so many other families caught in the same screen-time trap she was. That was the motivation for her post.
"I want them to know they should probably change this. It's not O.K.," she said.
Still, with many parents struggling to balance, work, school and family life as a result of COVID-19, parenting expert and mom.com editor Ericka Souter said to be gentle with yourself.
"It was much easier to be strict about screen time pre-pandemic. Right now, just about every parent in this country is at her wit's end trying to balance fears about health, job security and school. While one-on-one time is always preferred, we have to cut ourselves some slack," Souter told "GMA." "Eventually, things will get back to normal. Right now, if your kid gets a little more screen time than usual, that is O.K. We don't need to beat ourselves up even more than the world has."
Her advice: "If you are worried about quality time, try to carve out as much time as you can -- in between work, laundry, meals and remote schooling -- for connecting. It could be 30 minutes of a board game or just doing an emotional check-in by asking what they think about current events, what's going on with friends, school, etc. The reality is, for most of us, we can't give as much time as we want right now and that's O.K."