Electronics and Screen Time

Christmas time is over and the new year beginning means that likely some kids have received a brand new electronic gift for Christmas. From the XBOX One to the iPad. While these are great presents for the kids, parents are often concerned about whether these will cause their kids to have attention diverted from school, friends, family, or other responsibilities. So what can you do as a parent to make sure your child can enjoy their electronic media and still be functional at school and with the family?

The American Academy of Pediatrics discusses something known as screen time. Screen time is defined as anything related to looking at a screen using electronic media. This ranges from the computer, the tablet, cell phone, and television.

It is difficult to imagine getting your child to only look at games and limiting their play on electronics to a certain amount of time a day. The most effective way to help prevent this is to set boundaries on time limits and model for your kid. If you can put down the phone or get off the computer to spend time with your child that can help them learn to reinforce positive behaviors on how to use electronic media. Also, engage with your kids on their electronic media. Play the video game with them that they love. An active parent with their kids activities will be seen as someone who can model responsible behaviors for their children. Remember that your kids learn behaviors depend on how you handle a situation so get out there and spend some time with them on and off the television screen! 

Written by: Jasper Gates, M.A., LPC Intern

Cy-Hope Counseling: The Center For Children & Families