Screen or Scream – Not Really.

My son is 2 years 4 months and has zero interest in screen – no matter what kind. When people get to know this, their response is often raised eyebrows and shocked surprise. There are also some light-hearted comments on how I am punishing my child by depriving him of screen time.

Well, it is a personal choice. Parenting is personal. I try not to judge parents who allow too much screen time, having said that it’s not something I appreciate a whole lot either. I am not perfect, neither do I expect others to be. Sharing with you all today my views and how I have been raising my son as a screen-free child.


Welcome to my world. I am a work from home mom which makes screens an inevitable part of my daily routine. Even then, I have managed to keep my son away from all screens, be it TV, laptop, mobiles or tablets. How?

Read on.


It helps to start off on the right track. An infant has no demands except for milk and sleep and a lot of cuddles. There is absolutely zero requirement of any other thing. Studies indicate that introducing screen to them at such a delicate age can have lasting negative effects on their still-developing brain.

  • We made it a rule to have no screens around Rey when he was an infant. Phones were kept out of sight and he was hardly ever in a room with the TV on. And when he was, his line of vision did not capture the screen.

Set an example.

Children see, children do. They will never ask you for something they don’t see you and anyone else doing. You cannot be glued to the screen and expect your child to not follow suit. Avoid screens in front of the child. This one is a little difficult for those parents and families whose favourite time pass is watching TV or playing games on the mobile or being obsessed with social media.

  • It helps that neither my husband nor I am a fan of TV. We do follow series, however, we catch up on them only after our son has settled for the night. My husband watches football matches but that’s only once in a while. As for the mobile, it is strictly off-limits for our son. His father is not a smartphone fan and I try limiting my usage when he is around. I do click a lot of his photos and make videos but switch off the screen the minute I am done. My son thinks of the phone as a camera as I haven’t let him look at the screen beyond selfies and photos. I openly discourage anyone from showing him their phone as well. Well, yeah – I am only watching out for my son. Sue me! 😉

Phones are not a substitute.

Parenthood can be overwhelming. Yes. It can drive you nuts. Agreed. It may even make you question your sanity. Has happened to me too. But all it takes is those weak moments to give in and start the circle. Ask someone to step in if you can. Keep extra toys handy. Keep activities ready. Head out for a walk with the baby. Plan your day. Leave room for boredom

  • For the last two years, I have been solo parenting to an only child, Monday to Friday from morning to night. I know how it feels to want a break. But it’s doable.


It’s never too soon to start forming good habits. A general rule in our house is “No phone, No TV” for children.

  • By the time my son was 18 months old, he would not l̥ook at the TV or pick up a mobile

Hold your ground

Children quickly learn and realize what they can get from where. If you give in too easily, they will only come on stronger next time. Hold your ground.

  • Although Rey hasn’t shown any interest in screens, if anytime something catches his eye and I see him glancing at a phone, I am quick to whisk it away and not give in to his request. On those rare occasions or when on a video call – when he does look at the screen, I ensure he does not get the phone in his hands.


Now he is almost 2 and a half years old and even if TV is on in the house, he pays no attention. If there are phones lying around, they are just boxes for him, he doesn’t try to switch them on and fiddle with them.

I have, on days, switched on the TV, put on a cartoon, and recorded his reactions to whether he starts watching TV. His response instead has been to ask me to play with him and not even glance towards the screen.

I realize screen time is inevitable with so much digital influence directed towards kids – from videos to games to educational apps. I will introduce it to him slowly and gradually.

But for now, as a wise man once said: “A child should know how to hold a pencil before he learns how to operate a mobile phone”.


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33 thoughts on “Screen or Scream – Not Really.

  1. Well done… Sejal….we are very proud of you…and m sure Rehu will be indebted for all that you are doing…..

  2. This conscientious decision will bear fruits in the long run. I’m glad he’s not besotted by the electronic media. That is some hard work you have put there. Great post! I’m sure it will be useful to a lot of mothers. It will be great to inculcate the habit of reading for him, just in case you haven’t. A good reading habit sans television and mobile addiction will do wonders. Enjoyed reading the post and knowing you through your words. Cheers!

    Dipali ( )

  3. I do find there are some benefits of screen time and I dont quite get the no screen time concept. My daughter watches cartoon when eating her food thats it! After that she turns it off herself and hands it over. What i loved the most is how her creativity, vocabulary and memory has improved as she co relates things she watched with real life and all the more joy reading the story books once she has watched it #AksReflects #MyFriendAlexa

  4. I completely agree with you on this.Until my son was 5 years old he was oblivious of how to use a gadget called mobile and TV. We too never watched except for the news bulletin and that was well after the lil one went to bed.
    He spent most of his time outdoors in physical activities.And now that he is in his teens,he knows what and how much to watch!

  5. Thus is indeed shocking and wonderful. So the key is to take the hype off the phones. Make them feel that it isn’t a big deal and that they aren’t missing out on anything. Well done!

  6. Yes, Parenting is personal. I am on lines with you for not giving kids screen time. It should not be being strict for not allowing kids to screen but you should give them other interesting engagements so they themselves prefers them over screen. Of course it takes efforts and time.
    and very well said-“A child should know how to hold a pencil before he learns how to operate a mobile phone”.

  7. Its great that you have managed so well to keep your child off screens. Personally, I believe after a certain age, screentime for child should be allowed to let them explore it too. As you said, parenting style is for each his own. 🙂

  8. Great points! I too believe we should make screen time very less and involve kids more in outdoor play or may be reading.
    My 6 years old watches TV only for half and hour a day and No mobile/tabs etc. In his free time he has got habit to read.
    #MyFriendAlexa #SurReads

  9. As a mom of two, I know this is a commendable feat and pat your back for that! I have a limited screen time rule, but have not been able to bring in no screen time solution.

  10. Interesting post. Each parent has a different way of handling the screen time issue with their children. Thank you for sharing your experience, especially the part where we as parents need to set an example – I totally believe and practice this. Looking forward to reading more posts from you. #MyFriendAlexa #MayuraReads

  11. you’ve written with substance, however as and when kids grow up, it becomes incessantly difficult to make them do what is supposed to be done. at 2-3 years, i had limited screen time for my boys, but as they grew, learned to communicate better and decide on their own it is difficult to always justify our actions.

  12. We also don’t have a TV in home however sometimes I give in and let my little one watch rhymes, etc. when I have to meet deadline or when I am writing. There is no other way he leaves me alone. I will try what you follow hoping it to work. Thanks for sharing. #surreads #myfriendalexa

  13. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or
    guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would
    love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers
    would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested,
    feel free to shoot me an email.

  14. We have been following no screentime policy at home for almost more than 2 yrs now.. just recently he has started sitting with us when we watch TV, but that again is limited. I would say it isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible either.

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