As we all know, the greatest scourge facing today's youth is not the prospect of global climate change, or the faltering economy they're likely to inherit: it's the chance that they might cast their delicate eyeballs in the direction of a TV or computer screen. While the American Academy of Pediatrics has strict anti-screen-time guidelines, if we parents are honest with each other, sometimes a little screen time sneaks through. But there are a few reasons--very good reasons!--to avoid screen time, that you should duly consider before firing up the old Samsung.
1. Because the power is out.
Thanks a lot, summer storms. Now we're never going to know how the Magic School Bus got back from outer space.
2. Because if you hear the theme song from Curious George even once more, you are going to flip your shit.
You cannot be held responsible for your actions if you have to look at his stupid monkey face one more today.
3. Because you're Amish.
The most screen time your kids are going to get is staring at the windows in your house. (How are you reading this article, by the way?)
4. Because they're learning things you don't like from watching TV.
Stupid Sesame Street needs to teach kids that sometimes sharing isn't caring. Like when Mommy buys herself a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
5. Because your kids no longer remember what the sky looks like.
It's been a long winter. Go outside and play for a little while today, guys. Come back when you can tell me about that big blue thing up over your heads.
6. Because you actually need to use your smartphone to make a call or send an email.
Or because you've decided you finally deserve your own turn at Candy Crush: equally important.
7. Because your household utilities bills are roughly equivalent to the GDP of a small country.
Reduce, reuse, recycle ... record it on your DVR to watch later on a rainy day.
8. Because some weird issue with your satellite TV keeps scrambling pixelated Cinemax into the Disney Channel.
Hey kids! Look at me! Look out the window! Look literally anywhere else but the television right now!
9. Because your elderly computer takes an hour and a half to load the Barbie website.
On the bright side, it might help teach your kids something about patience. And about screaming through your clenched teeth while furiously shaking your mouse back and forth as if your energy can somehow flow through the wire and supercharge the antediluvian RAM stick jammed into the hard drive.
10. Because you have nothing more pressing to concern yourself with than whether your kid gets his peepers on a screen now and then.
That's awesome! Congratulations on your great good fortune in life so far. I, meanwhile, will be making do with twenty minutes of Arthur reruns while I move the laundry, make dinner, and mop.
(Feature image: magda_rzymanek / iStock / Getty)