Let’s Talk About Screen Time pt. 2

Emi Sano
3 min readMay 17, 2023

I didn’t think I needed a part two, but here I am.

For my toddler:

After writing my article on screen time I decided that for my own sanity I would slowly begin to increase screen time limits to help keep myself and my toddler from constantly having arguments over his sudden need for dependent play (I’m in the process of writing about that).

Back to the screens. We decided to reset my iPad and make it officially his for use. Originally my thought would be good for him to have on car rides where I can’t easily switch episodes on my phone and to play his music as he goes to sleep.

But canceling YouTube premium put a damper on using it for his sleepy-time music because we cannot just listen to the audio and shut the screen off. So he started to want to WATCH the videos as he went to sleep. And we cannot download or save videos unless we subscribe so that created another bump, but thank god for personal hotspots!

Then he found a certain video of cars that he became obsessed with and constantly wants to watch. All. Day. Long. It’s the prime reason for our recent tantrums and big meltdowns. We’ve only let this happen for three days.

I’ve decided he isn’t mature enough to handle the “tablet life” and we are putting it out of sight, out of mind. When he does not see the iPad he will not even ask us to use it. I will have to wait a few more months or so and see how his maturity level grows.

NOTE: I’ve noticed that after I wrote this piece and forgot to publish it, after a week or so of having a tablet the “newness” wore off and he wasn’t so attached to it as much as he was in the beginning. He knows it’s primarily for car rides now and will occasionally ask for it at home. We do our best to still limit the amount of time spent with screens.

Once I can see he can handle having his personal screen, and being ok with us setting boundaries on it, I will gladly give it back. For now it’s back to television, my phone, and screen time limits.

For me:

I have been on my phone way more often than I want to be. And for me I know it’s because I have huge issues dopamine seeking. If you don’t know what that means here is a good definition:

Dopamine causes you to want, desire, seek out, and search. It increases your general level of arousal and your goal-directed behavior. — PsychologyToday.com

I am not formally diagnosed with any ADHD or other mental disorders that might be affected by dopamine or lack thereof. But I do find myself needing to find some pleasure outside of being at home and playing cars. As much as I love my toddler with every fiber of my being, playing with toys can get exhausting and I need a moment to check out. And sometimes they moment turns to several long moments.

And that is what I don’t like. I agree we all need time to ourselves and let the toddlers figure out their boredom, but when it comes to the point where they freak out every time they see you on your phone; you have a problem.

So I’m am going to start putting screen limits on myself as well. I think it’s healthy to do it and also to show solidarity that even mommy isn’t looking at a screen.

This has been both an eye opener and learning experience. You’ll get a bit more information on my feelings when it comes to independent/dependent play in a future post. But I felt updating everyone on my screen time journey with my toddler would be beneficial because every parent should get to know the whole truth.

Not just what “we” choose to tell you about how our parenting is going.



Emi Sano

Emi Sano is a self-published author of “Voices: a short story collection” and YA novella “We Don’t Talk About That.” She freelances as a writer/blogger.