As a mother of six children ages 7 to 29, Dawn Herron has dealt with the same issue for decades.
With her older children, it was watching too much TV, but not these days.
“After school, they come home and to them, down time is hopping on a tablet.”
On weekends or during school breaks, it’s a battle that can become an all-out war.
Dr. Jean Moorjani with Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando says, “Kids will be out of their routine and it could be really easy for families to fall into the trap of kids just wanting to be on their screen.”
She says first, don’t set time limits just to set them.
“It’s not just the amount of time a child spends on a screen. We have to actually look at the context of what they’re doing with those screens.”
Not all screen time is bad. Some 80,000 educational apps are available which can help children maintain skills such as math and reading during school breaks.
The Herrons advise setting up “media free” zones in your home.
Chip Herron says, “No screens in the bed. No screens at dinner time. Screens are off when we say
they’re off and if we ever have company over, screens are off as well.”
Finally, if you don’t want your kids to sit and look at a screen all day, give them something to do. A little planning now can go a long way.