Last but certainly not least some ways that you can reduce the negative effects of screen time along with some recommendations:

What can I do to reduce the negative effects of my child’s screen time? 

Become more involved in your child’s media viewing experience and help your child to process what it is they are seeing. Draw their attention to the character’s mental states and highlight the character’s feelings (Nathanson, 2013). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Some media can have educational value for children starting at around 18 months of age, but it's critically important that this be high-quality programmings, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS. Parents of young children should watch media with their child, to help children understand what they are seeing” (2016). Computer use used for various activities such as homework, games, and surfing the internet can show positive results for language, memory, and learning, and social perception; however, playing a certain game repetitively may negatively affect verbal-memory performance (Rosenquivst et al., 2016).

Try reading age-appropriate books to your child. Reading enhances language skills and classroom attentiveness which have positive effects on academic work. Reading also positively impacts executive functioning and visuospatial processing (Rosenquuivst et al., 2016). Other ideas include establishing a family mealtime with the TV turned off,  offering alternative activities to watching TV, such as board games, placing ‘no TV or screen’ signs on each TV or screen at home, and removing your child’s TV or computer from his or her bedroom (Yilmaz et al., 2014). 

The following recommendations are directly from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  1. “For children younger than 18 months, avoid the use of screen media other than video-chatting.”

  2. “Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.”

  3. “For children ages, 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs.” 

  4. “Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.” 

  5. “For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.”

  6. “Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.”

  7. “Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.”

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