More on managing screen time

Six realistic ways to manage your kids’ screen time. The Globe and Mail, February 24, 2016.

A solid article that outlines six basic steps that concerned parents can take to safeguard their kids from the pernicious effects of the media. The sixth mentioned is setting limits on media involvement at bedtime and specifically in bed. Parents setting such limits is no small task, and, further, since many, many families in America have already enshrined screens in the bedrooms of their kids and for that matter in their own bedrooms, this major step would involve many parents needing to make a drastic change in their lifestyles.

This could mean pitched battles between kids and their parents in millions of American homes. But I contend that is a discussion and a behavioral change worth making, for the welfare of the children.

Many, many American families have introduced TVs and other screens into the bedroom without really thinking through what their were doing. Parents convincing their children and themselves of the need to change this longstanding habit, dare I say family tradition, would take much thought and effort.

Still, it is a discussion worth having, and I could make a major difference in the mental states and functioning of many children.

Another of the six recommendations involves parents and children engaging in the media together. This way the parent can monitor more closely what the child is actually consuming. But also such a mutual engagement around the media would strengthen the relationship between child and parent as it seems pretty clear that one of the downsides of so much child-media connection is a weakening of the actual relationship that exists between child and parent, given the sheer amount of time that kids now spend daily immersed in the media.