The digital age is upon us. As children move up in school, it becomes harder to control what our children have access to. At some point, as a parent, you’ll likely want to develop a plan for media usage. You might find that “no limits” work just fine for your kiddo. Other families may need to limit exposure. For most families, finding the balance between media and other important activities takes time, experimentation, and patience. Here are some things to consider while navigating the digital realm with your family:
Think about your own childhood: Many families had one TV—maybe 2—and you were forced to watch what was on network or cable television. Movies, you had to hand-select from a video store or watch the same movie over and over again. Video games, for many, were a luxury and, again, limited to what you had on hand or could rent. There were no mobile devices with video streaming, unlimited games, social media sharing…the dark ages!
Now, take inventory of your own home. Ninety-eight percent of households with children 8 and under have access to a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone. It’s changed indeed!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to develop personalized media use plans for their children. Media plans should take into account each child’s age, health, personality, and developmental stage. The AAP has a tool you can use to create a personalized media plan for your family: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx.
To read the full article and learn about the “5 W’s” approach — Who? What? When? Where? And Why? — visit lanekids.org.
This article is brought to you by Parenting Now! Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com). Parenting Now! is passionate about happy, healthy families. For more information about Parenting Now! please visit their website (https://parentingnow.org/) or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org