Is Your Kid Addicted to Smartphones & Video Games? Here's How to Build a Family Media Plan by Mei Marcie

6 years ago

Is Your Kid Addicted to Smartphones & Video Games? Here's How to Build a Family Media Plan

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.
  • 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! 

Read more about children's screen-time guidelines via the University of Oxford.

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Elisa Schmitz
This is the topic of the year so far! Such a scary thing to see our kids addicted to smartphones. Thank you for this important info, Mei Marcie !
Mei Marcie
Thanks Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds and the reminder to parents is it may be futile to work only on keeping kids away from device, but instead to spend some effort to learn using the device
Anna Kline
I hate how angry my children get when limits are set on digital devices. We only have our phones and TV but even then the stress of peeling them away from the devices is like pulling teeth. We decided recently to only allow TV on the weekends and the tantrums went down significantly. The sacrifice we had to make as parents was to fill in the time with activities, but that helped our girls feel closer to us.
Mei Marcie
I agree! Anna Kline And it's scary how quickly addictive the devices get .. sometimes if it's a one-day holiday, I may give the iPad and then immediately the need to want to hang on to the device quickly returned!

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