Dial Back Screen Time Anxiety with a Family Media Plan

Let's hear from Betsy, an early literacy librarian, about screen time.

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"
  • creating screen-free times
  • instituting device curfews (all screens off by 9:30, for example)

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. "According to the plan, everyone has to turn off their phones at 9:30." "The kids in our family don't have TVs in their bedrooms. We read before bedtime." And it will all be right there in writing!

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