Smart Home Media Use: Limiting Screen Time

Smart Home Media Use, Limiting Screen Time illustr by Jennifer MillerAs warmer temperatures rise to blazing hot, kids may be tempted to remain in their air conditioned homes and entertain themselves with video games, YouTube videos and Facebook posts. Hours can turn into days as they lose track of time. And busy parents may allow it since it provides focused time that adults can attend to their own responsibilities. Set expectations at the beginning of summer for screen time. Why is it important to limit screen time? And how should it be limited? The following article shares the suggestions and information you need to have a productive dialogue about media. Have those important conversations with your kids instead of arguing each time the television needs to be turned off. Help your kids experience all that summer has to offer with outdoor activities, creative indoor play and in-person time with friends. Happy summer!

Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.

– Jim Morrison

The second day of school my son brought home a short booklet that was to be signed by all family members. It was the technology policy for his school. Covering every facet of screen interaction, each statement began with “No….” It is indeed critical for each school to have a policy on how technology is used. But in family life, the policy, or “rules” around screen time are just not enough. I began asking, what do kids know about screens, their effects and why they should be limited? How are children taught to interact with screens – what to do in addition to what not to do? As I was asking these questions, two friends, also readers, got in touch and asked whether I had any written media agreement for a family. I promised that I would research and work on one so that all could benefit including my own family.

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