The screens are everywhere and it’s hard to avoid them. I’ve been guilty of handing over the phone to my screaming toddler at a crowded restaurant for the sake of my sanity.
Media has infiltrated the lives of our children so much that it is now a part of their everyday routine. Computers, televisions, iPads, and smartphones are easily accessible and even a two-year-old can navigate apps.
As parents, what can we do to help limit screen time and navigate this tech world that has consumed us?
Here are a few reminders that will help calm some of your anxiety:
- Parents’ time with their children cannot be substituted. I once heard that kids spell the word love as “T-I-M-E”. Make sure you carve out time in your schedule for your children that does not involve a telephone or television. In our home, we limit adult screen time for 2 hours, so that we can engage more with our children.
- Develop a Family Media Plan. Define set times when children are allowed on their devices and when to avoid them. For example, limit screen time in the bedroom and during mealtimes as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Watch with them! Sitting with your child allows you to engage with them and discuss how to relate what they are watching with the world around them. Choose programs that are educationally stimulating.
We don’t need to let media overwhelm us. Instead, it can be used as a great resource to help stimulate the developmental process in your child. Use the reminders above to make the digital world a less scary place and more functional for your home.
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