Four Hours of Screen Time? No Problem

Excerpt from this article:

This past summer, I came home from work to find my son and his friend M. playing Roblox, a massively multiplayer online game that lets you construct virtual worlds and customize an avatar to explore it.

“How long have they been playing?” I asked his baby sitter.

“Four hours,” she said.

Stunned, I looked at them. “Four?”

At 8 ½, my son had a 15-minute daily limit for iPod games or the Wii and 30 minutes on weekends. By all rights, I should want to kill my baby sitter, who knew that. But I looked at my son, happy, hands flying over the keyboard, talking and laughing with his new friend, and realized, I didn’t care.

It was his first play date in months. There were extenuating circumstances. Over the course of second grade, his behavior deteriorated so badly that he lost every single friend. I looked at his baby sitter and shrugged. “They’re happy,” she confirmed.

The possibility of a new friendship emerging, for me, outweighed all the warnings about screen time.