Prioritizing Kid Time Over Screen Time

Emulate what we want to replicate


I am guilty of multitasking. Sometimes, I work on the computer while answering emails on my phone, checking alerts on my watch and streaming music on Alexa in the background. Recently, I was doing this while reading articles about managing screen time for my kids.

The irony was not lost upon me

This moment caused me to look in the mirror. How can I ask something of my kids that I am not doing myself? To be the best dad possible, I needed to alter my own behavior before asking my kids to change. I needed to prioritize “kid time” over “screen time.”

Time flies

My kids are growing up. I look at pictures from our summer vacations and am reminded of the fleeting nature of time. Yesterday, we were bringing baby Max home from the hospital. Today, my kids are 14, 11, and 10. In the blink of an eye, they will go off to college.

My work can wait

This project is not critical. The latest tweets will still be there tomorrow. Updating Facebook is not that important. My business conference call can be rescheduled. My kids are here now.

Kid time

I grabbed a basketball. Max and I went outside to shoot baskets. Then, Lily and I watched an old episode of Friday Night Lights. (Yes, we both cried). Lucy then performed her latest ballet routine. I loved every second of it.

Being present

Nothing annoys me more than when my kids are texting while we are having a conversation. Then, I catch myself glancing at the alert on my own phone while they are talking. They deserve my full attention. I want to be fully present in these moments.

Savor the moment

Our lives are so busy. We run from one place to the other. Every minute of every day is booked. It is time I remember my priorities are my family. The little moments each day matter most. Laughing together. Playing together. Having a conversation. Monitoring children’s screen time is important, but limiting my own is crucial. I need to emulate what I want to replicate.

Thank you to Live Your Life On Purpose for publishing this article on Medium.

Blog Author: Dr. Jeff Livingston

Blog Photo By: Tyler Franta on Unsplash