It's an issue that lots of parents struggle with - how to limit the time your kids spend on their electronic devices. One mom tells us that she bought her kids devices for Christmas and says they're now obsessed. She asked for advice on how to scale back their time. Licensed family and marriage therapist Britt Young gives her expert advice to Sunrise viewers.
Young says that first of all, you should set realistic limits. When a child is on a laptop, tablet or phone, they're not playing outside, riding a bike or participating in a sport. It also can inhibit the development of their imagination. In order to set limits, she recommends having a family meeting where you can talk about the expectations and how much time they'll have on their devices. That way, your child knows what to expect.
Use creative incentives. Young says you have to use whatever motivates your kid. One option is to say if you spent 15 minutes on your chores, you get 15 minutes with your phone. Or once all your homework is done, you can have 30 minutes on the tablet. Figure out how to trade time so they can be rewarded with tech time.
Also, Young says to avoid a tech conflict, make sure to give them a heads-up that their time on the phone is coming to an end. You can use a timer so they clearly know how much time they have been on and how much they have left. Then give them a 10 minute, 5 minute or 1 minute warning so they know their time is coming to an end.
Consider using parental control apps. They can help you schedule it all. You can block off tech time and cut-off their access to internet browsers at bedtime or when they're in school. This way, you can have more control over how your kids mix with their devices.
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