"My biggest rule..." Dr Becky reveals to Oprah the number one boundary she has for her three kids when it comes to screen time (and it might be easier said than done)

Will you try out her advice with your own children?

a young boy and girl using tablets on the floor
(Image credit: Alamy)

Screen time is a battle in houses up and down the country – and further afield – but here are the rules one parenting expert has implemented with her own kids.

Are you in the two-thirds of parents who can see the negative impacts of screen time on their children? Perhaps you even have a phone addiction yourself, or like one parent, regret giving your pre-teen their own smartphone.

Screen time is something that parents and children will never be able to agree on, and even the best-behaved child might sneak the occasional text message or extra game from time to time. But here are the boundaries that parenting expert Dr. Becky told Oprah Winfrey she sets with her own children – what do you think?  

“I try to infuse parental controls in any screen device they have,” she begins. “Too often, kids know how to set up their own devices as an adult, and then we’ve lost our ability to have any sense of what’s happening there.”

And she explains that she always gives her children clear expectations. Before her children’s screen time begins, she lets them know how much time they’re allowed, and what they are and aren’t allowed to do. 

For her younger children and with their sleep in mind, Dr. Becky makes 6pm the time to switch screens off. And there are no devices in the bedroom, either! But while these rules may not always be the most popular, she's prepared to stick with them.

“I know my kids are going to protest at the end, and I prepare myself to tolerate it," she finishes. "When I end screen time, my kids do not say ‘Thank you, I understand. You’re the best.’ They do what every other kid does, but if i’ve geared myself up to hold the boundary they know to expect [it]."

In similar news, parents are being warned that excessive screen time is being scientifically linked to abnormal behaviour in toddlers, and one woman has shared how she can tell 'within 10 minutes' if a child has had too much screen time. Meanwhile, the seven social media concerns parents worry about most have been revealed.

Freelance writer

Adam is an experienced writer who regularly covers the royal family and celebrity news for the likes of Goodto, The List, The Metro, and Entertainment Daily. However, you can also find Adam covering relationships, mental health, pet care, and contributing to titles such as Creative Bloq.