5 Tips to Help Your Child Manage Their Screen Time

5 Tips to Help Your Child Manage Their Screen Time

By Movieguide® Contributor

Children are almost constantly in front of a digital device, whether it’s for school or recreation, and learning how to manage that can be difficult.

The American Academy of Pediatrics shared five tips to help parents help limit their child’s screen time usage.

The group suggests using the 5 C’s method, which is “based on the child, the content, ways to calm down, what media is crowding out and ongoing communication.”

The 5 C’s include:

  • Child: It is important to note that because no child is the same, “they don’t each have the same risks and benefits from media,” Healthy Children reports. This means that parents should ask child-specific questions like, “Who is your child, what is their personality? And how does this influence what media they are attracted to, and how it affects them?”
  • Content: The specific content and its quality could positively or negatively affect your child’s behavior and relationship with media. Help your child “think about which videos and games they use that have too much violence, rude role-modeling, unrealistic beauty standards or commercialism.”
  • Calm: This helps the child to “learn strategies” on how to manage and deal with their emotions as well as help them fall asleep if they are struggling.
  • Crowding Out: If your child is constantly on their device, it could potentially “be crowding out other things your family cares about.”
  • Communication: It is imperative to “talk about media early and often. This is one way kids build digital literacy, and it helps you identify when your child or teen is struggling.”

There are numerous physical and mental health concerns created by excessive use of screens, especially for children.

It increases rates of depression and anxiety, hinders speech development and raises chances of myopia, among many other dangers.

Screen time and social media also inhibit interpersonal relationships, especially for older children and teens.

“Smartphones and social media fundamentally changed the way teens spend their time outside of school,” said Jean Twenge, a psychologist and author of the book “Generations.” “You take a generation of young people, they’re spending a lot more times in their rooms, alone, not sleeping, not hanging out with their friends in person. That’s a pretty bad formula for mental health.”

Movieguide® previously reported on a few other ways parents can help limit their child’s screen time:

As parents hope to curb these negative effects, Momtastic suggests these tips:

Set Screen Time Limits: Establish clear and consistent screen time limits for different activities, such as TV, video games, and social media. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2 to 5 years should have no more than one hour of high-quality screen time per day, and children under 18 months should avoid screen time altogether.

Create Screen-Free Zones: Designate specific areas in your home, such as the dining room or bedrooms, where screens are not allowed. This helps prevent screens from intruding on family time and sleep.

Be a Role Model: Children often emulate the behavior of adults. If you want your child to spend less time on screens, be a positive role model by reducing your own screen time and engaging in non-screen activities.

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