Our kids are literally assaulted with all kinds of messages from the media, particularly if they have computers or their own cell phone. For some of our kids it can reach a level that is very concerning as to how it might be impacting them. It has this addicting sense that is scary for parents and caregivers.
In the midst of that concern it is hard for parents to know what do about it. We speak about limiting screen time but are there some guidelines that are age-appropriate to help parents know some practical guidelines for media consumption with their own child?
On the Child Mind Institute website there was a recent article published by Rachel Ehmke about how to help children find healthy ways to manage their screen time. Here is an excerpt from this helpful article:
Parents used to just worry about kids watching too much TV or playing too many video games. We still worry about those things, but now the screen time list has gotten much longer. Phones, tablets, apps, social media, texting — they all can captivate kids (and adults) starting at a very young age. What’s a parent to do? Going back to bed isn’t an option but taking a deep breath and encouraging rational moderation is. Here are some tips, broken down by age group, to get you started.
This article goes on to provide helpful guidelines that are age appropriate to help parents set their own guidelines for their children’s media management. Even though these guidelines are helpful each child will most probably need individualized help and accountability for managing this aspect of their lives.
Here is the link to this article so you can read it on our own.
It is important for parents and caregivers to be intentional and active in their child’s media consumption. It is a tool that can be connecting but it can also be a source of bullying, abuse and exposure that can be very destructive to our kids. Just like we wish to provide a healthy home environment for them we also need to watch out for media intruders that could negatively impact their personal world and ultimately our families.