The American Academy of Pediatrics just made a new statement on kids and media. Here is a review of what they had to say.
Tips for Parents on Making a Family Media Use Plan:
Make a media use plan for your family.
- Write rules down,
- Check quantity and quality of media, take a look at the location of your tvs, phones, and computers including tablets.
- Location- no screens in kids bedrooms and have a “media curfew”. Have a control center where all electronics get plugged in a night.
- Excessive media use has been associated with obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression and other behavior issues. Entertainment screen time should be no longer than 2 hours a day.
- No screen time for children under 2 years of age.
- Co-viewing programs with your kids and discussing values , look for educational media choices.
- The Internet can also be a place where kids can run into trouble, keep the computer in a public part of your home.
Discuss the Internet Rules:
- Discuss “digital footprint” with your children. Let them know that where they go on the internet can be remembered…nothing they do online is a secret.
Discuss Social Media:
- Become familiar with popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram get your own accounts.
- By “friending” your kids, you can monitor their online presence. Pre-teens should not have accounts on social media sites.
- If you have young children, you can create accounts on sites that are designed specifically for kids their age.
- Good “digital citizens”, discuss the serious consequences of online bullying.
- If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, it is important to take action with the other parents and the school if appropriate.
- Attend to children’s and teens’ mental health needs promptly if they are being bullied online, and consider separating them from the social media platforms where bullying occurs.
- Sexting of any kind is not appropriate and remember the internet is NOT private.
- Check out a sample “Media Time Family Pledge” for online media use.
How do you monitor your kids’ screen time?
- Children, Adolescents and Media (AAP Policy Statement)
- The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families (AAP Clinical Report)
- Children, Adolescents, Obesity and the Media (AAP Policy Statement)
- Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media (AAP Policy Statement)
- Media Use By Children Younger Than 2 Years (AAP Policy Statement)