When To Turn The TV Off

Most children today have access to screen time from early on. Some tips on that:

-Decide with your partner (so you are both in agreement) how much time you want your child to have based on their age. If you're unclear on the amount of screen time your child should have based on their age you can check out this article with the American Pediatrics Association's latest recommendations


-Decide under what conditions your child can have screen time. After dinner? After homework is completed? When they're dressed for the day? In the car?

-Have open dialogue with your children about your household rules regarding the amount of allowed screen time allowed, and under what conditions is a great way to reduce argument about how much time they get and when. It can be helpful to even put this up in writing somewhere in the house to refer back to.

-Put limits on what kinds of screen time your children have access to based on their age. For example, setting parental controls on Netflix and Amazon Prime videos that can be viewed by your children.

-If you have older children with their own devices, ensure that you have the password and check their history frequently. Make sure you child knows that nothing they view is private from mom or dad.

But, it's not always that easy. Kids love to get lost in the screens, to the point where they will prefer it over playing, eating or sleeping. Dr. Webster-Stratton gives some great tips for how you can use praise to encourage your children to make good choices with screen time.

In my Toddler and Preschool/School Age remote parenting classes (which is now open for enrollment for a limited number of parents!!!) one of the topics I teach is how to SYSTEMATICALLY use praise to get children to reduce the behavior you don't want, and increase more of what you do want. Praise is a great technique to use to guide children who struggle with the screens.