So You Think You Can Dance judge Maks Chmerkovskiy is a parenting pro as he and wife Peta Murgatroyd gear up to welcome baby No. 3, and he’s sharing his best-kept hacks with Us.

“Screen time is important because it’s his time. I think [in] 2024, you can fight this, but you’re going to lose because he’s going to [learn] what we want him to, which is socialization,” Chmerkovskiy, 44, recently told Us Weekly while talking about eldest son Shai. “So he’s got a huge schedule after school, we kind of look back at it and we’re like, ‘We need adjustment for the next year because his play dates are the minimum.’ It is because it’s this class, it’s that class. We drive you there, so it means you do this, this and that. So we try to balance it out. So when he does come home, he’s like, ‘Do I have my time now? Did I earn it?’ I said, ‘Yes, you did. Go ahead.’”

Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd, 37, share sons Shai, 7, and Rio, 7 months. Murgatroyd is also currently pregnant with the Couple’s third baby. Since Shai has reached different milestones compared to his siblings, there are certain rules that only apply to him for the time being — especially in regards to screen time.

“My deal though is that it has to be informative and he has to learn something new,” Chmerkovskiy noted, adding that Shai is allowed to play Minecraft. “Initially, I was like, ‘I’m not sure about that.’ But then my friend who also has young kids said, ‘This is the best way into coding.’ I was like, ‘Done. Here we go.’ You know what I’m saying? Because when I was 7, I didn’t know how to operate a screen, open, close, [say], ‘Papa, I’m trying to go on Wi-Fi.’ He’s 7. I didn’t know he could read all that.”

The pro dancer continued, “I knew nothing about any of this. So how am I going to look at it and be like, ‘It is to his detriment, he should be playing in the field and planting trees?’ Honestly, we are entering, or have already entered, VR [and] flying situations. I can’t pull him back to tractor time. You know what I mean? You can’t avoid it. That’s how I treat it.”

While Chmerkovskiy sees the value in allowing Shai (and eventually Rio and baby No. 3) to use electronic devices, running their own social media pages is out of the question.

DWTS Alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy Explains Why It s Important for His Kids to Have Screen Time 148
Us Weekly

“I’m controlling that. I mean, I’m down to have an account, [and] we are the type of family where he can definitely benefit from that,” Chmerkovskiy told Us. “So the accounts that we have now, there are Shai’s and Rio’s … and I’m going to put it out. The only reason why I’m doing this is so that it’s a low-maintenance kind of approach for me is just so that he can have it from an early stage.”

Chmerkovskiy noted that when his boys are “of age,” he will hand over the accounts so they don’t “have to start from scratch” and build a profile.

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Nicole Kidman, Pink and more celebrity parents are figuring out how to limit their kids’ screen time. “They don’t have a phone and I don’t allow them to have an Instagram,” Kidman told Vanity Fair in an April 2019 interview of her and Keith Urban’s daughters, Sunday and Faith. She isn’t alone. Pink, who shares daughter […]

“There’s value to that in my opinion,” he noted. “If I’m wrong, it’s very easy to delete it. It’s just two clicks and it’s out. What I’m against completely is him having a phone with all that on it. … I know he’s smart enough to be given a device that we can learn to use both ways, but it’s not going to be [a] device that’s going to have TikTok on it, that’s for sure.”

For more of Chmerkovskiy’s best parenting tips and tricks, watch the video above.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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