WFMW: Screen Time Chart

We cut off our cable television a year ago. One of our two televisions broke six months ago and we decided not to replace it.

We’re down to Netflix, a news channel or two and PBS.


Seriously. Except when all the people around me talk about the latest shows. I pull out my knitting and take a swig of Maalox antacid from my purse (No, wait, that was my grandma-which I am slowly becoming).

But I’ve learned that my kids still crave screen time-or anything electronic. They can sit for hours, idle and absorbed playing video games, watching reruns of The Addams Family, or at the computer.

We implemented screen time years ago. Our rule: 30 minutes a day of “screen” time-you pick the screen.

I just found this freeย Printable Screen Time Chart to help us keep track. We aren’t militant about it and sometimes we break our own rules to watch family movies, but generally, during the week, our house rule for our kids is 30 minutes a day.

It works for us!


  1. 2


    Way to go! We shut off our TV about 5 years ago. We really haven’t missed it. We watch DVDs or some old, clean re-run shows on Hulu or You Tube…things like Andy Griffith. I’m so thankful to for our family to not be slimed anymore by the trash that’s on now days.

  2. 5


    we recently cut cable in an attempt to save some $$ and pay down bills…it’s been a few months and I LITERALLY cannot stand it anymore! I’m afraid we’re going to have to add it back!! I’m not one of the people who can get used to it, I guess. we have the basic channels (2-12ish), but there is NOTHING I really want to watch on those channels…everything I watched was on cable…aaaack! In April, we’re going to finish paying down some bills; I think I’ll treat myself to turning it back on. Winters are ssoooOOoooO long here. Plus, the difference between what we have now and basic cable channels is about $35…I we’ve cut down other expenses, and in April I’ll feel better about adding it back (can you hear me trying to justify myself? LOL)

    • 5.1


      Before you turn the cable back on….do you know most of the stations have their shows online? CBS, NBC, ABC…they all have their major shows available online with very few commercials. We haven’t had cable for a few years and for the most part we don’t miss it at all, but there are a couple shows we like and we just watch those online. :)

      I have noticed that my kids don’t ask for stuff as much as other kids whose families have TV. I don’t miss that at all! When we go to places like Toys R Us, they don’t even ask for stuff! They look at everything and we ooohhh and ahhhh at it all, but rarely do they ever ask for stuff.

  3. 6


    We cut our cable off 2 years ago and only find reasons to never turn it back on. We do buy our favorite shows on iTunes or watch online. But only the most favorite get my TV/screen time. I LOVE IT.

  4. 7


    When we were building our home and ‘camping’ for 9 months , we had NO tv and I LOVED it… when we moved in I only signed up for internet……only to find out I got 60 channels FREE with our high speed internet cause there is nothing they can do to turn that connection off but don’t tell people that so they buy the package……needless to say I’m addict to tv again..UUGGHHH but hey at least it’s free tv!

  5. 8


    I love this! We do something similar – they have a set time to watch a show and they have to earn it by doing “table time” (homework). Isn’t PBS the best? It’s really all you need. And so many good shows are on Netflix.

  6. 9


    We rarely watch TV and recently sold our big flat-screen TV when we hit the road. It’s funny. I thought we wouldn’t miss it at all…but we actually do miss it a little {sheepish grin}.

    It’s kind of relaxing to watch a movie every now and again. :)

    P.S. I’m curious: Do you have “screen time” rules for yourself too?

  7. 10


    We cancelled cable almost 2 years ago and decided not to get the converter box. Right now, we have an HD TiVo that will pick up PBS. Other than that, we stream Netflix through that TiVo.

    We used to watch so much television that we had 3 TiVo’s for our two tv’s, and had to create a spreadsheet in the computer to figure out which TiVo would record which show on what day.

    It has been absolutely liberating. I can’t even believe how much time I used to spend watching television.


  8. 11


    Funny – My post is very similar but a little different spin. I would like to find out how I can get PBS on our TV. I am guessing I’ll have to find a converter box on FreeCycle.

  9. 12


    I just called to cancel our cable yesterday. Amazingly, he was able to offer me a deal (funny, that happens every time I call about my bill.) He gave me a discount that allowed me to cut the cable cost in half. We have cable and internet together so it’s still a pretty big bill. I kept cable for now but am still considering getting rid of it. I’m afraid I’m going to be like crafty woman, though (comment #6) and wish I had it back. It’s not so much for me. I only watch a couple shows and know I can get them off the internet. Maybe I’ll revisit the idea when it’s warmer and we can all spend more time outside.

  10. 13


    I’m not sure I could give up my TV time with the husband – it’s such a relaxing way to end the day, cuddled up and talking about the show and life during the commercials. If we had kids it might be different.

  11. 14


    I would totally not have a TV in our living room if my husband wouldn’t fall apart without it. I think I could go without a TV in the house, honestly, but I would probably want one for watching movies.

    But really…I see it as nothing but a time-waster and oftentimes a source of non-Godly humor and thoughts.

  12. 15


    We have TV by antenna, and I love not having to be the TV police because there is only so much on that the kids can or are allowed to watch. I’m going to try your screen time sheet, though, to keep them thinking about how much time they DO spend in front of a screen. Thanks for sharing it!

    p.s. I’m usually a lurker her, but I thought I’d participate this week.

  13. 16


    We cut our cable about three years ago and I LOVE it! I don’t know if we’ll ever go back! In fact, I got stopped by a DirectTV sales person the other week & he asked what we use as our television service provider. I told him we just do Netflix & Hulu and he said – “Yeah, that’s the smartest way to go! Have a nice day!” So funny!

    As for current shows, just log onto Hulu & they have most of the current shows online – just one day later. The only one I have found that they don’t have that we miss is American Idol. My husband also misses the sports but he has actually found quite a few websites that have the games on for free. We did have to set up the antenna for the Super Bowl & we sometimes pull it out for American Idol during the week… but other than that it is Netflix and Hulu!

  14. 17


    I love that you do this!!! I canceled my cable about a year ago (well tried to cancel it several years ago, but they never shut it off til a year ago) – I have gone from watching 2-3 hours of TV a night to maybe 2-3 hours/week. It totally changes my perspective on the world (less influence from it) and allows me to spend quality time doing other (usually) more important stuff! Love hearing that others have done the same!

  15. 18


    Hi! I am sharing my recipe for Meyer Lemon Mousse. If you love Lemon Meringue Pie, you will love this Mousse! It tastes like a cross between the filling and the meringue.
    I never turn the TV on when I am alone, which is most of the time! I am better (and earlier!) informed about what is going on with the Internet and Twitter. Other than that, I spend my time cooking, going through recipes or creating jewelry. There still aren’t enough hours in the day for me!
    Thanks for hosting!

  16. 19


    Until my kids were in HS we didn’t have cable either and there were not nintendos or computer games allowed in the house…just didn’t believe in them. My youngest had some OCD issues and was distracted easily so this was all the more reason to limit electronics in the house. Today we only have one TV (it’s a biggie ๐Ÿ˜‰ and we have cable but it’s just my hubby and I now at the Love Shack. I never turn it on during the day and usually when he’s done working he comes out of his office and turns the tv on…many times I’m reading and he has wireless earphones that he uses so that he doesn’t disturb me. TV is suppose to be a form of entertainment and not your LIFE ๐Ÿ˜‰ So hear you Kristen on this issue and the importance of family time. Fondly, Roberta

  17. 20


    i grew up with a 30 minute screen time rule. only when my mom was sick did we watch sesame street in the mornings. when my younger siblings came around, my parents lightened up and i remember watching cartoons with them and getting so bored! i like the 30 minute screen rule! my mom always had art supplies/books/games, etc out to occupy my time and to this day, we don’t watch much tv in our house. in fact, we’d get rid of cable except that my husband is a huge football fan.

  18. 21


    My little one isn’t old enough for any TV, but I have to say that in my house there is a distinct and real need to limit mommy’s screen time, lol. Between mindlessly surfing the Internet and zoning out in front of the TV (who knows what’s even on??) it can really get away from me and it makes me feel crummy afterwards. I might start logging my own use.

  19. 22


    Do you do that every night of the week or a little extra on weekends. And what about netflix movies? Just curious. We just went down to basic cable and put netflix on the wii. We are weaning them down. We will next go to no cable. I am just trying to get our rules in order and agreed upon so hubby and I are a team when the cable goes out!!!!

  20. 23


    Ok that coming your grandma thing is SO ME. I will rarely wait in line for ANYthing these days, except the bathroom.

    We are militant (God bless my child) about screen time. He has ADD. He needs very very militant guidelines when it comes to screen time.

    He gets 2 hours on the weekend up to 1 hour a day IF he keeps EVERY SINGLE grade above a B for the week (yay for online grade viewing). If not? No screen time. That kid hasn’t fallen below a B since we went to this plan. He loves his Beloved Mrs.Xbox360 Flack. :) ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. 24


    Hi Kristen, we also greatly controlled our children’s viewing time, but also they never ever used video games or gameboys and both excel in school and leadership projects. It is so important not to use technology as a baby sitter! Linking up two different recipes for gravy that both make delicious sauce and one is gluten free! All the best! Alex

  22. 25

    Vanessa Gooch says

    We too shut off our cable a couple of years ago. Can’t say I miss it at all! We watch DVD’s so that we have control over what our kids will be subjected too and we also watch any shows that we want to see online. We recently just got Netflix, which for the price, is pretty amazing. I can tell right away when my kids have had too much screen time! I really like the idea of a ‘screen time’ schedule, or chart. Thanks for sharing.

  23. 26

    Sharon says

    We canceled our cable around 4 years ago. My husband’s idea–I wasn’t too happy about it actually. At that time we mostly watched cartoons and Disney channel–but the commercials!! UGH!! It was an adjustment and my daughter (who was 10 at the time) was the most unhappy!! time it has proven to be a wonderful decision. Protecting our children’s minds (and our own!!) is something we definitely have to fight for these countless ways!!
    We too do Netflix, but even without cable when you have computer and video games it is still easy to spend too much time in front of a screen. I love your idea of 30 minutes per day. We have tried that before but have gotten slack.

    Thanks for the reminder and the great article about your marriage struggles. Thank you so much for sharing with such transparency. I’ve been there myself, and boy, does it ever knock the wind out of you. I’ve grown to love and appreciate my husband so much more since those days for us. God is good. Forgiveness is the road to true joy in marriage and life.

    Love to you and your sweet family.

  24. 27


    I canโ€™t say that I completely agree,in spite of this in spite of this Iโ€™ve never actually thought of it quite foor instance
    that before. Thamks for giving me something to think about when Iโ€™m supposed to
    have an empty mind while trying to fall asleep tonight lol..

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