positive technology

3 Ways to Determine How Much Screentime is Right for Your Child

I read this article today after this title jumped out at me 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

WHOAH! Am I bad parent? My son is 11 and I let him use a smartphone.

It seems like everyday I find a different article or story on the news warning about too much "screentime".

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How do you determine what is best for you and your children?

1. Be informed.  Don't let one article determine what to do.  Seek out many sources to help provide you with as much information as you can. Be as informed as you can and decide for yourself.

2. Talk to your doctor  It is a good idea to have a conversation with your medical professional too. Here are the guidelines for screen time use according to The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics:

  • infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology,
  • 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day
  • 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day

3. Don't compare yourself to others.  Remember, what is right for one parent doesn't mean it has to be right for your parenting style. 

The article says that Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences.

For me, the KEY is balance - use the guidelines as a boundary so that you can help ensure your kids are getting a healthy balance of activities in their lives.  Is homework getting done?  Are his grades where we want them to be? Is he socializing and playing with friends outside of school? Is he participating in his sports willingly and with passion and excitement?

Whew, I think I am doing pretty good so far... 

What is a Social Citizen?

so·cial cit·i·zen

noun
noun: social citizen; plural noun: social citizens.

  1. A social citizen is a person who develops the knowledge and skills to use social media and other digital media effectively and responsibly.

  2. To be a good social citizen you must have respect for yourself and others online and have a positive attitude.

  3. You are responsible and accountable for your actions on social media.

I wrote this definition, because this is a new term. 

I hope you join me as I start a movement.  The purpose?  I want to encourage adults and kids to learn about how social media works, and how they can use it to enrich their lives in a positive way.

We are all spending more time on the internet.  Kids are watching their parents use social media to connect with friends and family on Facebook, read the latest news on Twitter, or search for a helpful "How To" video on YouTube.  Lots of children know how to use a tablet like an iPad when they can barely speak.

But no one has taught us the right way of doing this.  We learn as we go.  And that's ok for adults to experiment with, but I believe we have a responsibility to educate our kids on how to effectively use digital and social media.  I know that when we have good information, we make better choices.

I am excited to share my knowledge of social media with you.  My goal is to help make you feel comfortable so that you can have better conversations with your kids about using it.

I will provide you with a balanced approach of information. This will include the latest information on popular social media channels such as Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, Musical.ly, and more.  I will also provide you with important information on how to keep your kids safe online.

I will be writing articles here on this site, and will post tips and videos on the Facebook Page

I am available to provide workshops for parents and kids too.  More information will be shared soon.