Protecting What You Value Most

Do not let screen time affect your co-parenting relationship

In the past few decades, parents have had to walk a fine line between allowing their children to use electronic devices and preventing the potentially serious consequences of too much screen time. Still, if you share custody of your children with a co-parent, the two of you may disagree about how much screen time is too much. 

To minimize conflict, you may want to address screen time in your parenting plan or custody agreement. While which restrictions are appropriate vary from family to family, the following guidelines may help you strike the right balance for your post-divorce family. 

Set daily limits

The National Institute of Health recommends limiting screen time to just an hour or two for children over the age of two. Infants and toddlers should have no screen time, according to the NIH. Using these recommendations, you and your children’s co-parent may negotiate age-appropriate limits on daily screen time. 

Consider content restrictions

While there is a great deal of educational and informative content available on television and online, there is also an overwhelming amount of violence and other types of inappropriate content. If you are not comfortable with your child viewing objectionable content, place content restrictions in your parenting plan. 

Outline a process for resolving disputes

Even if your parenting plan or custody agreement covers screen time comprehensively, you and your ex-spouse may eventually disagree about how your children use technology. Therefore, you may want to outline a dispute resolution process in your parenting plan. 

By including dispute resolution in the plan, you have an immediate avenue for resolving conflict before it becomes a larger problem. Not only may this approach benefit your children, but alternative dispute resolution may also keep you out of court.