Devices and Our Relationships
You’re in a restaurant and can’t help but notice a nearby family: the middle-school daughter has her ear buds securely in place, staring off into space. The elementary-age son is fixated on the device in his hands. And Mom and Dad are both scanning their phones.
Teens (age 13 to 18) consume an average of 9 hours of entertainment media per day, and tweens (age 8 to 12) use an average of 6 hours, not including time spent using media for school or homework, according to a census report from Common Sense Media.
25% of teens say their parents know only “a little” or “nothing” about what they do or say online. As you’d imagine, mobile device use is on the rise as well, now accounting for 41% of all screen time among tweens and 46% among teens.
For the younger children? Overall, children 8 and younger spend an average of 2.25 hours per day with screen media, and 42% of these children have their own device.
Here’s what is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• Consistent limits should be set on the amount of media time used for entertainment purposes, and it should never take the place of sleep, physical activity or other healthy behaviors.
• Children younger than 18 months should avoid use of all screen media other than video chatting with family.
• For children 18-24 months, if they have any screen interaction it should be high quality, educational programming with parents watching alongside to help explain what they are seeing.
• Have a no-device rule during meals and after bedtime, keeping television and internet accessible devices out of kids’ bedrooms.
And Mom and Dad need to follow the same rules. Let’s not miss out on the relationships that are most important…right around us.