How to Bamboozle Your Parents into Giving You More Screen Time

Article by Dick Badger


Uncle Dickie

EDVILLE—Kids, the “experts” are back. You know what that means.

In the spring the experts told us—and here I’m quoting one of them—that no one should “fret about allowing their children more screen time than usual.” And that came as a big relief because there’s not an adult alive who doesn’t think they’re under-achieving because their own parents let them watch Sesame Street and Charlie’s Angels all day and night.

But now, all of a sudden, the experts are saying, “it’s time to rethink our children’s dependence on technology, especially as we head in to the winter when it will be all too tempting to stay indoors in front of screens.”

Uh-oh.

So, look. The fact is, no one has a clue how to stay sane these days, least of all cash-strapped parents. And even if they did, they’re hardly gonna give you the straight dope. Which is why your Uncle Dickie is here to help.

Now, if you’re older than two, you know that the key to getting your own way is exploit your parents’ feelings of guilt and shame. If you haven’t figured this out already, there’s no hope for you.

So here’s the key. You don’t say, Mom, Dad, if it’s all the same to you I’d like to spend fourteen straight hours gaming. Heck, no! What you do is, you quote the experts back at your parents, like this one: “A child reading a book with her snowbird grandparents over Zoom, or connecting with friends over social media are two examples that shouldn’t be considered bad screen time.”

See? You gotta bob and weave, shifting the conversation from how much of your life you’re actually chucking away, to how wholesome your screen-watching is, and how much you love your granny.

Experts love earnest anecdotes, so here’s one for you.

Last Saturday, my young lad came into the office, where I was pounding out this very piece of unvarnished genius you’re reading now. And he was so glued to his phone that he stepped on the cat. So I said, “If you don’t ease up on that phone, you’re gonna go blind.” And he gives me that big grin of his and says, “Yeah, like you don’t spend your whole life on that computer, you hypocrite.” Only he didn’t use the word hypocrite.

Clever boy. Learned from the best.

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