Dial Back Screen Time Anxiety with a Family Media Plan

We frequently hear from parents who are concerned about the excessive amount of screen time being experienced by their children (let's be honest, some excessive adult consumption is occurring, too). Considering that too much screen time can interfere with language development in children, sleep, learning and physical activity in everyone else, what's the best way to balance ever-encroaching media?

One new idea we really like is the Family Media Plan, opens a new window, a tool offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, opens a new window. The basics include:

Designating certain areas as "screen free zones"

  • Screen free zones can include places like the dining room table where face-to-face family interactions are the priority. 

Creating screen-free times

  • An example of setting a screen free time can be before bed or while doing homework. Setting boundaries with technology during certain times can strengthen your family's routines.

Instituting device curfews 

  • Choose a time of day where all screens turn off for all members of your family, yes even the grown ups! For example, set 9:30pm as your screen curfew and spend this time winding down and reading with your kids.

Any plan will be most effective if all members, including adults, stick to it. Once the plan is in place, it makes it much easier for parents to maintain some semblance of control. Another important tip is to write down your Family Media Plan and agree on each point as a family. Including your children in family decisions will help them feel more invested and make it easier to stick to the plan together. 

Every family is different and no two solutions will be the same. Let us know what's working for your family!