We asked Clinical Psychologist Nigel Latta to share some tips about managing screen time in children's everyday lives. Here's what he had to say:
The most important thing is to lead by example. Make sure that you aren’t looking at screens all the time. Set limits on your own use first.
Decide exactly what kind of devices people actually need and when they need them. You probably don’t need a mobile phone when you’re nine, for example. You also don’t need every kind of device there is in the world.
Set limits for everyone about where devices can be used, such as:
- No devices at the dinner table
- No devices at cafes
- No devices at Grandma’s house
- No looking at a screen during an actual conversation with an actual person
- No devices after a set time each night.
Make their offline life as interesting as you can by encouraging them to get involved in real world activities as well.
Have regular ‘device free’ days or evenings where the family does something together that doesn't involve screen time.