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HOW TO limit screen time for kids

Personally, with 3 kiddos at home from high school age to first grade, this topic is always top of mind. My childhood in Vermont was practically screen-less so I have a difficult time with how much of my own children's schoolwork and socializing seems to be so screen-reliant these days. And I think we can all agree the pandemic did not help. 

So what are the current recommendations? 

For kids under 18 months

AAP discourages screen time usage for this age group outside of video chatting with long-distance family and friends. 

For kids 18 to 24 months

For parents who want to introduce digital media, AAP recommends choosing “high-quality programming/apps” and using them together alongside children, “because this is how toddlers learn best.” Letting kids under 24 months use media by themselves should be avoided, AAP says.

For kids 2 years to 5 years

AAP recommends using media limits for this age group. Screen media should be limited to a maximum of 1 hour per day of high-quality programming. They also advocate for co-viewing or co-playing (if using apps). 

These washie tips can help you trim your children's screen time when not in school:

1. Be accountable.

Set expectations with your kids, and set goals to be intentional about reducing screen time.

2. Be realistic.

If your kids are spending a lot of leisure time on screens, including watching TV, start by setting smaller, more attainable goals. Instead of jumping right to the recommended one to two hours or less per day, start by cutting their current screen time in half.

3. Be engaged.

After school or work, spend time each day talking face to face with kids and give them your full attention.

4. Put hand-held devices away.

During screen-free hours, put devices away or at a charging station in a common area so they're not attracting your kids' attention.

5. Create phone-free zones in the home.

Making family meal areas a phone-free zone is an easy way to start.

source: Mayo Clinic 



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