Parenting Connection: How to handle kids the pandemic turned into screen time addicts

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to handle kids the pandemic help turn into screen time addicts.

Pre-pandemic, we parents worked hard to set screen time limits because experts told us too much technology is bad for the brain. Then Covid-19 forced us all to rely on screens to do just about anything and everything to get by.

Experts fear the drastic increase in screen time for young children will now make it difficult for them to transition to other activities now that we’re starting to see progress with beating the pandemic. Specialists say there will likely be a period of epic withdrawal once schools, activities, and social life returns to normal, but stress that parents must get back into a routine of setting a better balance.

“It’s really important parents set some limits around technology,” says child development expert Kylie Rymanowicz. “When I was teaching parenting classes before the pandemic, it was very much like “OK, limit the number of hours a day, limit when they do it” and now when I get to those units in my class we just laugh because it’s just not realistic. So, the best you can do is the best you can do as long as your setting some limits and make sure your kids have some of that balance, that’s really important.”

Here are a few ways to help you find that balance:

*Re-establish limits for screen time — that include how much, where, and when.

*Communicate these limits to your kids so everyone is aware of the plan

*Stick to the routine as much as possible

*Make sure your child has balance involving physical activity, free play, quiet time, and sleep.

*Be extra understanding

Experts also say, help your kids for upcoming transitions that don’t involve screens — with reminders and support. Many believe it won’t take much to convince some kids that playgrounds and playdates are a lot more fun — than playing with a phone.

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