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Ways Parents Can Limit Screen Time for Kids and the Family

Ways Parents Can Limit Screen Time for Kids and the Family

Our children are growing up in a digital media world and it can have both a positive and negative impact on healthy development. It is important to make sure media time takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family.

Problems begin when media takes the place of physical activity, hands-on exploration and face-to-face interactions. Having a talk with your kids is a great first step, but it may be difficult to make changes with talking alone. Here are some parent-tested ways to make a change with screen time in your household and make more time to spend together.

1. Set a Schedule
Consistency is key. Many younger kids benefit from a routine. Set times that work best for your family’s schedule where your family knows when they can have screen time and when it is time to “unplug”.

2. Don’t Use Screen Time as a Reward or Punishment
This can make TVs, mobile devices or video games seem more important. Make physical activity a priority with your family.

3. Have a Discussion with Your Family
Talking to your family about the importance of physical activity and reducing screen time will help set limits. Involving the whole family in a decision can help implement a new schedule.

4. Limit Screen Time Before Bed
Watching TV before bed can reduce the quality of sleep for children, while being active regularly can increase the quality of sleep for children.

5. Media-Free Time
Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.