“Husband Lets Our 4-year old Have Too Much Screen Time”: Ask Dr. Julie Hanks
Q: Husband and I have been married for 8 years, and we’ve always had a different mindset regarding television and media usage. I grew up with the belief that TV was almost sinful in its idleness and wastefulness, and even had parents that would cancel cable/satellite for stretches of my growing up years. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a family where television after dinner was how the family spent time together and still his family regularly spends time in front of the television. We just had our second daughter, and our oldest one is 4 years old and watches what I believe to be too much television.
She will wake up around 6am before my husband gets up and will watch television in the morning until he is ready to start his day, typically around 8am. The situation is complicated by the fact that I am the “working parent” and my husband stays at home and is the primary caregiver. So how much television my kids watch is dependent on his enforcement. Sometimes I don’t know if I need to ease up on my expectations of parenting styles because we have reversed the traditional gender roles (and if I’m imposing my own set of expectations on how I would do it if I stayed home) or whether I’m validated in thinking 2 hours every morning (in addition to another 1-2 by the end of the day) is too much television and not a healthy precedent to set for a preschooler.
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her book The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide for Women are available now.