Coparenting and Screentime Rules

Coparenting and Screentime Rules

Coparenting can provide a child with a stable, cooperative environment, even after their parents split up. However, it’s difficult for parents to agree on everything 100 percent of the time. Screentime is a hot button issue that can cause conflicts. When one parent has strict screentime rules (often in the interest of their child’s health and emotional well-being) and the other does not, this can cause problems for your coparenting relationship.

Some parents may try to set screentime limits as part of their parenting plan—but what happens if you don’t agree? Here are some tips to navigate this issue.

Avoid using “cool parent” or “strict parent” labels

Sometimes screentime rules are more of a reflection on how we want to see ourselves, or how we hope our children see us. When coming up with screentime rules, try to keep your child’s best interest in mind—not how it reflects on you.

Acknowledge room for different values

It’s one thing if your child’s other parent is letting them watch R-rated films as toddlers or fails to supervise their internet use whatsoever. On the other hand, if you’re arguing over whether it’s okay to watch TV during dinner or whether your child gets two vs. three hours of video game time, it might be best to acknowledge that you have different values. You’ll still get to set your rules on your custody time.

Write it into the parenting plan

With the previous points in mind, you can always try to reach an agreement and write it into your parenting plan. For instance, you may agree that your child may only consume media with an age-appropriate rating. You might request that the other parent keeps you generally informed of what they’re watching or playing, even if they don’t set strict screentime limits. You may even decide to reconsider the issue every year or two.

When you’re ready to create a mutually agreeable parenting plan, Solutions Divorce Mediation can help. Reach out to consult with our trusted divorce mediators in Long Island today.

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