Question: You have a strict screen-time limit for your children. When they go to a friend's house, you'd like the other parents to stick with your limits. What should you say?
Answer 1: When it comes to safety and entertainment content, you can make requests of other parents. In terms of screen time, that conversation is a little difficult.
Four to five extra hours of screen time in one night is not going to damage your child or undermine your rules. It might show the child that other kids get more screen time, but the child likely already knows that.
Ask the other parent about his screen-time limits, then decide if you want your child to be a part of that. If you have a problem with what the other family allows, bring the other child into your home.
Don't suggest that the other parent is wrong or bad - every family is affected by different things. Be empathetic, and don't question why there's so much screen time being given. It's fine to offer why you have less, but don't shame the other parent.
- Patrick Coleman, parenting editor at Fatherly
Answer 2: The first time your child makes a new buddy, call the parent and introduce yourself. You are meeting the parent and will have a chance to hear her values and express yours.
Learn about each other, express excitement about the kids connecting, then exchange information like emergency contacts, your cell, a partner's information, doctor's information and address. After that, move into your rules and values.
Say, "Since we'll be looking after one another's children, are there any allergies, concerns or rules you'd like me to be aware of?" If the parent doesn't mention your screen-time concerns, bring it up. You can say, "We have a rule in our house about screen time," then describe what it is and why it matters to you.
This conversation gives you an immediate feel for the other parent's rules and values, and will show you if you'd like your child under the parent's supervision.
- Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions.