As I stated in last week’s post, I am among the many parents out there trying to wean my child off my laptop. Pretty much the second she hops out of bed, my 8-year-old daughter is gunning it to the kitchen table – where my laptop often resides – so she can play any number of her favorite video games. (I can already hear your thoughts: MOVE THE DANG COMPUTER!!… Good idea).

Mission Possible logoI attended the Healthy Schools Leadership Retreat late last week in Keystone, and came home with a poster – part of a new state-sponsored campaign from Colorado Connections for Healthy Schools to curb childhood obesity – calling for no more than two hours of recreational screen time – yep, that includes iPads, Droids, laptops, computers, TVs (everything with a screen) – per day. That seems extremely reasonable to me.

I showed the poster – featuring well-rested, healthy, bicycle helmet-wearing children –  to my daughter. She scoffed (actually, what really ticked her off was the other part of the equation calling for NO sweetened beverages, including juice!).

I am in some denial, I believe. My daughter can’t possibly be on the computer for more than two hours every day…or can she? Well, she jumps on in the morning while I am still trying to wake up, make breakfast and plan the day. She hops on between all other activities. She’s often playing games when I want her to eat dinner. And yes, she’s on it when I want her to go to bed. This is the week the timer will come out.

The other pieces of the state’s new 5 – 2 – 1 – 0 campaign, which appears to be shared with other states, are: five servings of fruits and veggies, one hour or more of physical activity, and, as I already mentioned, zero sweetened beverages per day.

So, parents, as always, we’ve got a lot of work to do as we model these healthy choices. Coffee without sugar doesn’t count as a sweetened beverage, I don’t think. Wine? Hmmmm. I love water. I love water. I love water. I definitely could ride my bike more than I do, and continue going to my favorite NIA class. As for screen time… work doth beckon! Facebook is bad. Facebook is bad. Facebook is bad. Fruits and veggies? Sign me up. Now that’s an easy one.

// <![CDATA[
document.write("”);
// ]]>

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.