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Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Need Less Screen Time

A new doctor-authored resource for parents has some surprising news: Parents should limit their own screen time as well as their kids'. Here's why: Kids often mirror their parents' words and actions. According to Dr. Jenny Radesky, a co-writer of the resource in JAMA Pediatrics, this includes how parents interact with their smartphones – and how often. Dr. Radesky's research on the subject has revealed that parents preoccupied with their phones typically engage in less one-on-one interactions with their children, have more parent-child conflicts, and run into more behavioral issues with their kids. She also cites previous studies on TV-watching and parenting with similar results – parents who watched more television had kids who watched more television. Luckily, the parental resource Radesky co-authored with Dr. Megan Moreno has some suggestions for limiting your screen time and strengthening your family relationships. For instance, they recommend stepping back from your phone in instances where you would usually turn to it for stress-relief, distraction, or to avoid conflict. Instead, try something else, like breathing deeply. Engage with those around you and give them your full attention. The doctors promote establishing specific times when the whole family can unplug and do a single activity together. They also advise avoiding behaviors you wouldn’t want your kids to learn, like looking at your phone while driving your car, or ignoring others while using your phone.  In short, if you want your kids to learn good phone etiquette and safety, model it for them.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Pediatrics, online August 27, 2018.