Struggling over screens? You’re not the only one! Increasing access to technology calls parents to task in communicating with kids and working with them to teach skills needed to manage the media overload. Each child and family may need a different plan. Just like any other activity in a child’s life- school, play, hobbies, sports, time with parents, kids need the time to learn, understand, and receive guidance from adults in their lives to strike a healthy balance. What are we most concerned about when it comes to kids and increasing use of technology to learn, play, and socialize?
Psychology Today author Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D points to a number of recent studies to learn more about the helpful and not so helpful aspects of screens and how to think about responding to requests from kids for more access. Parent concerns aren’t all alike. Is it the content that’s aggressive or shows silly behavior or behavior that’s too mature? May it take away from time for homework or sleep? Do the screens distract from family time? If so, they may be posing a problem. Do they help keep kids from fights with a sibling or help them unwind with a funny show after dealing with stress at school? That may not cause a problem for parents. Are they connecting with other kids and making plans for play dates? Context matters!
Click here for some helpful ways to start your thinking about how to set realistic expectations for yourself and your child.
Curious about what’s typical for a child your age? The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated their recommendations. Too much? Too little? Just right? When talking with kids about media consumption, it’s important that they work closely with you on a plan that meets their needs and also helps to establish a dosage that’s just right. Check out the AAP Media Plan which offers exciting new tools to help parents and kids keep track of expectations around screens and to see what the balance looks like.
Take a peek, try the tools, and tell us you think!