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3 Signs your kids are getting TOO much screen time!

3 Signs your kids are getting too much screen time

How much screen time is too much?

How much screen time should my kid have?

What is a healthy amount of screen time per day?

Are screens bad for you no matter what?

I don’t know a single mom (homeschool or not) who hasn’t thought about these questions!

We ask them at park day. 

We ask them at co-op. 

We ask them to our husbands. 

And we ask them at night when we are staring at the ceiling trying to figure out what to do about the glowing squares in our homes.

I do NOT profess to have all the answers. My oldest is currently 19, my youngest is 13 … and the screen landscape has changed so much since I began parenting.

We are the first generation of moms who are trying to figure this out. And it seems like every few years there is something posted that contradicts the “findings” of the previous study.

>> Screens and social media are TERRIBLE and will ruin your kids.

>> Kids who use screens are going to be fine!

But over the years, I’ve developed a set of questions to determine how much screen time is too much.

These questions help you, as a parent, identify the symptoms of too much screen time. Because “experts” don’t know your family and your kids -- which is unique.

I believe that screens can be good -- when used in moderation. But I also believe each kid (and each family) is different, so you must come up with your own guidelines rather than depend solely on outside sources.

As a result, I’ve developed 3 questions you can ask yourself to determine if your kids (and you!) are getting too much screen time.

These questions will help you set screen time rules for your kids that feel like they make sense and actually can work.

You may find yourself limiting screen time for your kids. OR you may find yourself giving a little bit more.

That’s the beauty of these questions … they let you craft the screen time guidelines that work best for YOUR family.

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

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Hello ToriAnn Perkey here and from my homeschool to your homeschool today, I want to talk about screen time. 

Ooh, this is a tricky topic. How much screen time is too much screen time. Oh, I wish there was an easy answer and it feels like every time I'm turning around there's a different answer. And I have been wrestling personally with this question since my kids were little and now they are teenagers. It seems like there is never a good answer to how much screen time is too much screen time.

3 Signs Your Kids Have Too Much Screen Time

So if you have struggled with this like I have. Today, I have just three simple answers, three questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not your kids are getting too much screen time. Now before we get into that, I just want to remind you that this is a debate that's been raging for a long time, long before computers, long before phones.

But the question is getting harder and harder to answer because the amount of screen time that's available and readily accessible continues to grow and grow and grow until it feels like a parent that you just have no way of knowing how do I figure this out? The articles in the media, I'm reading study after study, one study will say, this is why screen time is so bad or this is why we need to be worried about this. And then the next one will come back and will say, no, no, no, actually that study was done incorrectly. This is the one we should pay attention to.

So my goal today is to give you principles, principles that you can apply regardless of the noise. As people, as scientists and people out there are debating how much screen time is too much screen time. Because the answer to that seems to be constantly changing everywhere else.

#1 Their personality changes.

So here is the first question to ask yourself and this is the first sign if you can't give a good answer to this question. When they get off, what is their behavior like? So if your kid has been doing screens, whether it's a little bit or a lot, what is their behavior like? Do they get off with a cheerful attitude? Are they pleasant? Are they willing to then engage in other things? Or do they whine, complain, get angry, maybe they're rude to you, disrespectful.

If you're seeing consistent negative behavior when your child gets off, even if it's not immediate, like in the next little while, that's a sign that for them the screens are too much. Whatever amount there is, and this is not about what scientists say, this is how your child reacts and it's important to remember every kid's brain is going to react differently to screens.

Just like every adult brain reacts differently to screens. It just impacts our brains differently. And so your child is going to be telling you by their behavior whether or not they've had too much and that might be cumulative, that might be a one time episode. But if you're seeing lots of negative behavior, that means that the screen time, however much it was, was too much for them.

#2 They lose their creativity. 

Okay. Second question. Question to ask yourself, what am I noticing? And again, it's going to lead to a sign. Is my child being creative or do they lack creativity? Particularly creativity that I used to see. So children, little children will naturally be very, very creative and as they get older that creativity tends to start moving to different directions. But everyone is naturally creative and your children are no exception. So if they get off screens or it's a day and they say, Oh, I could do this or this, or I could watch screens, then you know it's probably okay.

But if all they think about is their screen time, if all they think about is getting on the screen to do the next thing, then maybe there is a problem. If it's consuming their thoughts, if they seem obsessed, if they don't seem to be able to come up with anything else to do, they wander around bored and there's nothing in their world. They're getting too much screen time.

If you dial it back, what you'll start to see, particularly if you do a detox period, what you'll start to see is they will start to be creative again. They'll start to discover other things to do because the brain doesn't want to just be empty. The brain wants to do something, so it will start to find other things to do because it's not doing screens.

Okay, so with this, I want to put in a little tiny caveat. Sometimes particularly as your children get older, their creativity is on screens. So they are using digital art. They might be doing something with video, they might be designing a game. This gets a little bit trickier because they are being creative but they're being creative on the screen so it still applies. But you want to be careful if they're obsessed about watching recreational screens and recreational or are consuming screens is where they're just passively taking it in. That's one thing.

If they are being productive and they want to actually accomplish something and they're looking towards a goal and they're making things happen. And well that's a little bit more on the creativity side and then you're going to be looking for these other two signs that I'm giving you. The one I've already given you, the one I'm about to talk to. Does this productivity actually lead to positive results or negative results? So I just wanted to put that out there.

#3 They choose screens over relationships

Okay, so third sign. What is the third thing that you can be looking for? The third question you can be asking yourself to determine, is my kid getting too much screen time? And the third one is are they prioritizing screens over relationships? This is, this is when you look at how do they treat their siblings, particularly if they have to share or if a sibling gets in the way of something they're doing on the screen time.

How do they handle when someone tries to talk to them and they have to disengage from the screen in long enough to have that conversation. Do they have a positive attitude? Are they willing to stop what they're doing in order to have that, have that face to face conversation. Or are they consistently, again, grumpy, frustrated or they just go in the zone and they completely ignore everyone around them and then almost feel angry when you pull them out? If that's the case, probably too much screen time.

But if they have a good attitude, if they're willing to share, if, if the screen is actually becoming a cooperative, collaborative experience where everyone's gathered around watching the latest, you know, YouTube clip that's making everyone laugh, then maybe the screen time is doing good things too and only you can figure that out. 

So three questions, quick recap.

  1. Behavior when they get off, how are they behaving? 

  2. Question, are they being creative? And the side note there, are they being productive, are they producing good things and putting good things in the world? 

  3. And the third one is how are they prioritizing prioritizing their relationships? How do they treat the people around them?

If you can answer that, those three things are going well, then you probably are doing okay with how much screen time you're, how much screen time you're providing.

Now this is the part that gets a little tricky and I have to do this self-assessment. How are you doing on these three questions? If you're kind of grumpy when someone interrupts you or you have to get off. If maybe you can't think of anything else to do except scroll social media and check out the latest feed and maybe sometimes you find yourself completely ignoring the people in your world because you're in your own little world. Then maybe, just maybe, you have too much screen time and that is a subject for a whole nother video. Just wanted to put out there now, don't forget I have a, actually I didn't tell you about this yet.

One of the ways that you can also figure out how much screen time you want to have in your family is to create a vision for you, your family and your homeschool vision is super, super important. It's how you dig in and successfully figure out what it is you want your homeschool to look like. And I have a free class that you've, a free training that you can listen to. It'll walk you through how to do that. You just click the link below and check that out. It's totally free. It'll help you set your vision, which is one of the steps that helps you figure out how much screen time you want to have.

I'm ToriAnn Perkey and I make these videos, videos about all kinds of homeschool topics to help you be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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3 Signs your kids are getting TOO much screen time!
3 Signs your kids are getting TOO much screen time!
Kids socialization homeschool weird answer

Will your homeschooled kids be weird? Here’s how you know.

I admit it. I asked the “question.”

One of the first things I asked when I met a mom who homeschooled -- years before I started homeschooling myself -- was “Aren’t you worried your kids will be weird?”

Kids socialization homeschool weird answer


This was LONG before I knew the arguments about socialization and the benefits of homeschooling.

All I knew is that the homeschooled kids I’d known in high school were weird. So I assumed ALL homeschooled kids were weird.

Her answer is something I’ll NEVER forget.

It stayed with me when we decided to homeschool.

And now, it’s the answer I give every single time someone asks me the question.

It’s based on one simple question you can ask yourself … and depending on your answer determines whether your kids will be weird.

Watch the video to find out more ...

Ready to feel Confident and Successful as you homeschool?

Register below to watch my FREE CLASS

Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hey guys! ToriAnn Perkey here! From my homeschool to your homeschool. I've got a question for you.

Are you ever worried that your kids are gonna turn weird?

Or do you ever sense that the people around you who aren't so sure about you homeschooling? Thinking your kids are gonna turn out weird?

Yeah, it seems to be kind of this prevalent thing that kind of surfaces over and over again in the homeschool community. Either because we're bringing it up or because we're hearing questions about it.

So today, I want to peel back the curtain just a little bit. Talk about where the question comes from. Whether or not your kids are actually going to be weird. And how you can know right now whether or not they're gonna be weird or not. And what you can do about it if you're thinking that they might be weird.

Okay so first of all, where does this question come from? I think it comes from the fact that our generation. So my generation, I graduated from high school in 1995. And I only knew one or two homeschoolers in my high school. They would come to highs school part-time and they would stay home. I knew someone else who'd been homeschooled and they were weird. Like they didn't fit in. They were awkward socially, they had different ideas about education. They didn't seem "normal".

So when I was thinking about homeschooling over and over again, I kept referencing those examples and I kept thinking yeah, homeschool kids are weird. No way I want my kids to be like that. But there are lots of reasons why I started homeschooling and the more I got to know other homeschoolers, I realized we run the gamut of weirdness to not weirdness. And frankly, I fall way far I think kind of on the weird corky side way more than the normal side. We're gonna talk about that in just a minute.

But what I started to realize is that the reason kids are weird has nothing to do with whether they're homeschooled or not. Instead, it has everything to do with whether their parents are weird. What kind of family are they being raised in?

I mean think about it. There are super normal kids who homeschool. And if you look at their parents, they're super normal. They're like picture-perfect, come out of magazine. Everybody looks great and put together normal.

And then there are other homeschoolers I meet who really seem pretty weird. Like totally different than the norm. Let's define weird as not necessarily odd or yucky but just different. And then I look at their parents and guess what, their parents are different. They're different than the norm. They have different attitudes about things, they're interested in different things, and they socially interact in maybe some different kind of ways.

So if you want to know whether your kids are gonna be weird, you have to look at you.

If you're weird, your kids are gonna be weird. If you're not weird, your kids aren't going to be weird. And to just reinforce this, I want you to think back to your school experience. Were there kids in your school who were "weird"? Yeah. My public high school had lots of kids who were weird. And lots of kids who were normal and lots of kids who were lots of different things. And I'm guessing that if I went and met their parents, and I met a lot of parents, their parents were a lot like them.

So the reality is our culture is not how you choose to educate your child. It's actually how you choose to live your life as a family that determines whether your kids are gonna be weird or not. So what do you want to do about that? 

Well, if you are worried about your kids being able to interact effectively in society. If you're worried about your kids being "weird", then it's time to look at how can you change the culture in your family? How can you talk differently? How can you act differently? Can you be engaged in different things?

But I'm here to tell you that it's probably a good thing. Because once your kids get out into society, there's room for everybody. And kids who are different who think differently and act differently and move differently through the world are the ones who change the world.

And if you're a family that's chosen to homeschool, well maybe the word we should use instead is you're gonna be a little peculiar. You're gonna be called peculiar because you've moved outside of the norm. And isn't that what weird is? Is being outside of the norm? Don't you want to be outside of the norm if you're homeschooling? Well, yeah.

So yes, we want our kids to be able to interact socially. Yes, we want them to be able to interview for a job and get a job or just start a business. Yes, we want them to be able to go a party and have friends. Absolutely! But I want to embrace the fact that we're kinda quirky over here at the Perkey house. We're kinda peculiar. And not just because we homeschool, because that's what makes us Perkey's. And I kinda like that.

So rather than pushing it away, I'm gonna embrace the fact that we're kinda weird. And kinda peculiar and kinda different. And that's okay. And I hope that you can embrace what makes you different and unique and exciting and amazing. Because when we all come together in this beautiful planet, it's pretty awesome.

I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I bring you these videos every week to help you be a confident, successful homeschool mom.

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Kids socialization homeschool weird answer
Kids socialization homeschool weird answer
Kids socialization homeschool weird answer