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Tips for Managing Screen Time

Tablets, televisions, computers and smartphones are an easy entertainment device for children. However, extended exposure to these devices can cause an assortment of health problems in children, ranging from unhealthy weight due to a lack of physical activity to diminished attention spans due to the constant flashing and bright colors of the screens. In order to avoid these issues and to make sure you raise a healthy child, here are several tips for managing screen time.

Set a Good Example

Children learn by example. If you are constantly on electronic devices your children will follow suit. When you are around your children, resist the urge to check your phone more often than not.

Encourage Playtime

Digital screens provide instant entertainment. Due to this, you need to encourage outdoor playtime whenever possible. From playing catch in the yard to shooting hoops, playing with toys or doing anything else away from technology, physical playtime has a number of positive attributes, including a boost in self confidence, improved health and the discovery of new skills and passions.

Avoid the Emotional Pacifier

This has become more and more of a problem for modern parents. If a child begins to cry, scream or have some sort of an emotional outburst the parent gives them a tablet or puts something on the television. Yes, it may quiet them or entertain them for a short period of time, but this rewards the child’s behavior. Digital screens should not be used as emotional pacifiers. The easy way is not always the best way.

Tech Free Zones and Times

As your child grows into a teenager they will need to use the Internet more and more frequently. While limiting their screen exposure becomes more challenging, creating tech free zones, such as the dinner table, establishes boundaries. Even teenagers need to lay off the screen time for about an hour before bed. Remove the temptation of nighttime browsing by keeping phones, tablets, and laptops out of children’s rooms after a certain hour.

Posted in Blog on February 17th, 2017