Parenting Connection: Battling Screen Time Season

Parenting Connection

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: Battling Screen Time Season.

Colder temperatures and now wintry conditions mean more time spent inside, thus, screens become the easy “go-to” to pass the time — not just for our kids, but us too. Plus, it’s now getting easier than ever to drift off into zombieland because it’s not just tv’s… it’s phones, tablets, and computers too.

The dangers of too much screen time are now fact. It causes lack of physical movement, encourages unhealthy habits with food, and negatively impacts sleep, especially without down time prior to passing out. These three can drastically hurt children as they develop, so parents need to do their best to manage the amount of screen time allowed.

Michigan State child development expert Kendra Moyses says, start by putting a cap on the amount of screen time your kids have and lead by example.

“For parents, we have the follow the limits we set as well. If the screen time is an hour a day to use how you wish, whether it’s a movie or game, that we stick to that as well because kids are watching us for the examples.”

Here are a few strategies to limit or maximize screen time during the next few months:
*Create a tech plan. This means establishing rules about what, when, where, and how much time your child can spend with screens.
*Designate tech-free zones at home and during times of day. For example, no screens in bedrooms and/or during dinner.
*Find high-quality content that can help them learn. Experts say, using technology for gain is much better than obsessing over how much time they spend in front of a screen.

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