Sarah Michelle Gellar says remote learning, more screen time has led to her son having eye problems
Sarah Michelle Gellar is speaking out about the adverse effect remote learning is having on her 8-year-old son’s eyesight.
The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actress has two kids with husband Freddie Prinze Jr., 11-year-old daughter Charlotte and 8-year-old son Rocky. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, her kids have been spending a lot more time in front of screens for class. Speaking with Today Parents, the actress revealed that it’s giving her son myopia.
“I really chalked it up to screen fatigue because my kids didn’t have a lot of access to devices (before the coronavirus quarantine,)” Gellar told the outlet. “All of a sudden they’re thrown into this world where they’re on Zoom for school and the only way they can connect with their friends afterwards is to continue on these devices. It was not something my kids were used to.”
Eventually, things got so bad that she decided to have Rocky evaluated by an eye doctor.
“They said not only did he have myopia — the common term is nearsightedness — but it was progressing extremely rapidly,” she said.
The actress is particularly cognizant of screen time and its impact on eyesight given that she’s working with CooperVision, an eyewear company that makes contact lenses that are safe for kids. She said she began working with the company after she realized Rocky needed glasses but was worried about the impact they’d have on his ability to play sports.
Physical activity is important to the family as it’s one of the ways in which the TV star helps limit screentime after school.
“We’re pretty strict about screen time,” Gellar said. “During the school day screens are only for school, so there’s no television, there’s no texting friends, there’s no nothing. As soon as school’s out, we try to do physical activity outside as a family whether it’s hiking or taking a walk or biking or swimming. We’ve also gotten really into board games.”
However, given the ongoing quarantine in California, the 43-year-old explained that she doesn’t want to completely strip screens away from her children given that it’s one of the few ways they’re able to interact with people outside of the family.
“I don’t want to take it away from them because it’s one of the ways they communicate with their friends,” she said. “At the end of the day, parents really do know their children. You really sort of have to go with that.”
Geller says that trusting herself as the person that knows her kids the best is the philosophy she tries to live by as a parent.
“Kids go to school and they have professionals who are there to see that stuff and we count on that, but there is a difference when you know your own child inside and out,” she told Today Parents. “You have to go with your gut as a parent. I think that’s the best advice I’ve ever learned. You know your kid.”