How many hours a day does your tween spend texting, tweeting, gaming and cruising Facebook? With all the media options available today, a Kaiser Family Foundation study found many children ages 8-18 are spending nearly 7.5 hours a day immersed in digital media. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only 1 to 2 hours of media use for children, tweens and teens and recommends avoiding media exposure for children under age 2.
Finding the Right Balance
Setting healthy limits on digital screen use can help your tween learn to use technology responsibly. We hope you find these tech tips for tweens helpful:
• Tech-free zones. To help ensure safe use of digital media, many parents prohibit technology use in unsupervised areas of the home. You can also make certain family activities tech-free. Many parents ban technology at the dinner table, in the bedroom and during special family excursions. Banning the use of digital media two hours before bedtime is also recommended as light waves emitted by digital screens can interfere with sleep.
• Limit tech time. Set time limits for media use. To teach tweens that technology use is a privilege, not a right, some parents reward good behavior, grades or chores with digital media time. (Click here for helpful tech tips for tweens on limiting computer gaming.)
• Monitor tech use. Teach your child to use digital media responsibly and discuss the consequences of posting decisions. Use parental controls to monitor and help limit your child’s risk.
Guided by caring instructors, Horizon Education Centers' after-school programs offer tweens opportunities to explore technology safely. Contact us today for information about our after-school programs in Lorain County, Ohio.