Hickory, Dickory, Dock it's time to put the screen on lock!

Hickory, Dickory, Dock it's time to put the screen on lock!  Yes, it's a change to the treasured nursery rhyme but it might be the new version we begin to teach our kids as we place limitations on screen time, 😍  Or is it?  There are varied opinions on this topic.

Technology is an inescapable part of our kids' world.  Unless you live off the grid there is no way to shield your kids from the screens they encounter.  Screens are everywhere and having been born in the midst of a technology renaissance it's not slowing down.

The statistics for kids are surprising. By some estimates, 5 to 8-year-olds spend nearly three hours watching TV and using smartphones every day. This isn’t ideal — the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a daily screen time limit of  0 screen time before 18 months,  
1 hour for children ages 2 to 5, ideally with parent participation.  It’s also suggested that older children have “consistent limits” on digital device usage.  0 screen time before 18 months.  

A recent study published in the Preventive Medicine Reports Journal found that children who spend 7 or more hours a day on screens 📱  are 2 times as likely to be diagnosed with depression & anxiety as opposed to those who have 1 hour of screen time daily.  The fact is 76% of parents said their kids are more addicted to digital devices more than CANDY 🍬, according to a poll run by Wakefield Research.  That's because digital screens really ARE addictive. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction is released by the stimulation of electronics.  

We all have aspirations of managing this for our kids & don't want the negative consequences of too much digital interaction, but let's get realistic.  It's not an easy task!  And it is a fact that there is value in this technology.  Our kids have access to a vast world of knowledge at their fingertips.  
If you have a desire to make some changes for your family in this area here are some tips that could help set healthy technology boundaries:
  • Set the example.  It may not seem like it, but kids pay attention & they want to be just like YOU!
  • Spend quiet time outside listening to the sounds & admiring nature.
  • Read a book
  • Play sports or just go play at the local park
  • Determine what is the right amount of screen time for your family.
  • Schedule non-screen time in your child's day
  • Have assigned chores & earn screen time
Carefully communicating your expectations as well as outlining consequences and reasoning behind the short & long-term health consequences is important in order to combat your kids' resistance to limits on their screen time. 
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