Is Your Kid Addicted to Smartphones & Video Games? Here's How to Build a Family Media Plan! by Mei Marcie
In an article published on Consumer Reports, the topic of smartphones and video games for children was once again in the spotlight. This is fast becoming a parenting concern, with Apple being urged to do more to control kids' screen time. However, there was also a gradual shift in mindset from simply controlling kids' screen time (which was increased to up to an hour for children under 5 by the American Academy of Pediatrics) to active learning for the child. Here are some tips on creating a family media plan!
- Assess if there are signs of addiction, which include poor sleep, deteriorating academic performance, reduced social time with friends, depression or anxiety. If there is, get help.
- Figure out how much screen time works for your family with the American Academy of Pediatrics' Media Calculator.
- Use devices as a tool, not a means. The plan is to use access to video games, apps and online information for active learning time, as opposed to passive viewing.
- Engage as a family. Parents are encouraged to participate with the child, rather than use devices as a means to "babysit."
It seems that parents have to step up from just being concerned and limiting screen time, to being engaged with the child on it!