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With 95% of US Kids Overdoing Screen Time: A Family Approach May Be the Solution
From:
Child Development Institute - Parenting Today Child Development Institute - Parenting Today
Orange County , CA
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 

Two recent research efforts studying the screen time and health habits of tens of thousand of youth found 95% of children ages 8 -11 (Lancet 2018) and adolescents ages 14 -18 (JAMA Pediatrics 2019) are not following the guidelines for recommended sleep, physical activity, and screen time.

For children (6-12) the guidelines recommend 9–12 hours of sleep, 1 hour of physical activity and less than 2 hours of screen time daily.  For adolescents (14-18) the recommendations are 8-10 hours for sleep, 1 hour of aerobic physical activity and limit all (recreational) screen time to 2 hours.  The American Academy of Pediatrics in their guidelines for use of media published in 2016 added kids of all ages should also engage in play activities that don't involve electronics and spending time with other members of the family.

In a recent article at Parenting Today psychologist Robert Myers, author of the upcoming book The Well-Balanced Family, recommends the best way to  help children and adolescents attain these goals is for parents and kids to work on these as a family.  He suggests ways for all family members to work together to improve physical fitness, sleep and reduce screen time for each individual.

Myers also provides recommendations and tools to increase creative play, reading, family activities including parents and kids playing and participating in physical activity together.  In addtion, this process results in improved communication and a sense of connectedness which reduces stress and increases resilience for both parents and kids.

Many writers on the topic of screen time for kids stress reducing screen time is only part of the solution.  Parents also need to monitor and control the use of electronic devices.  Parents should discuss safety issues related to surfing the net and social media activity.  Also, parents should consult a source like Common Sense Media for guidance and recommendations on helping kids and teens find age-appropriate and worthwhile sources for information, entertainment and games and other recreational activities for their devices.

Robert Myers, PhD is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist and is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine.  He is a regular contributor to Parentting TodayClick Here to contact Dr Myers.

 
Robert Myers, PhD
Child Psychologist - Parent Educator - Author
Child Development Institute
Orange, CA
 
 
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