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Four Tips for Managing Screen Time

June 26th, 2019

As the use of technology and screens increases with young children, we asked Charity Somo from our Developmental Family Therapy Center to share her top 4 tips for ensuring our kids use these devices in a helpful and not harmful manner. See below for her tips and tricks to help parents help guide their child in the healthy use of technology.

1. Make an informed decision about technology. 

  • Is that technology age appropriate for your child? Having certain technological gadgets can be trendy. However, before investing in a certain technology ask yourself if your child needs that technology and what he/she will do with it.  
  • Is that app/game/website age appropriate for your child? Children often appear to be digitally advanced. While they can search and find apps and information with ease, they do not know how to judge and evaluate the information. Children need parental guidance to evaluate the online information they consume. Take the time to sit and go over apps/games/information with your children and teach them good decision making on digital activities.  

2. Be pro-active about technology. 
  • What is your child doing with the technology?  Children can do a lot of cool things with technology. This does not mean parents should leave them to their own devices. Devise a way to monitor your child’s digital activity. Try a family media agreement contract! 
  • Did you set up the parental controls on the technology? 
  • Does your child ask for your permission to be on that app/game/website? Parents can use parental controls to help children select non-harmful ways to engage with technology. Since parental controls cannot safe guard all digital activity, make sure your children ask for your permission before they download an app or visit websites.  
3. Manage your own technology use. 
  • How do you engage with your technology? Loving or hating technology are neither good options. Parents should have a healthy appreciation for technology and maintain healthy habits with their own technology. Moderate participation with your child on their apps/games is a healthy way to mentor them on good use of technology. Maintaining your own healthy use of technology sets a good example for your child. 
4. Build healthy family routines and habits. 
  • Do you have family time set aside daily? 
  • Do you intentionally interact with your child daily? Family time is important to enhance social skills, including communication, conflict management and emotional intelligence. Be intentional to create daily moments when they spend time engaging with their children, this can include dinner, watching TV together, or reading a bedtime story. 

Learn more about managing screen time by attending the upcoming workshop, Finding Balance: Screen Time.

References | Heitner, D. 2016. Screen wise: Helping kids thrive (and survive) in their digital world. Bibliomotion:  New York.  Bully Stoppers. Growing up digital: opportunities and challenges for parents. https://slideplayer.com/slide/5679167/ 
Additional Resources | 
Common sense media. Select “parents need to know” tab. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Siskin Children’s Institute has issued the following Health Advisory:

 

Ensuring the safety of the children we serve and our staff is our primary concern. In a moment where our community and nation is preparing for a potential outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) the leadership of Siskin Children’s Institute has decided to close all of our programs, including the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics, Early Learning Center, Home and Community-Based Early Intervention, Family Voices, and all Therapy Clinic Services including Occupational, Physical, Speech, and Applied Behavior Analysis.

 

Effective immediately Siskin Children's Institute will be closed to the public through Friday, April 24. 

Although closed to the public, there are critical aspects of our organization that will remain operational. We will be providing limited medical care, therapy services, ABA services, and home visiting services via tele-health.

 

Please be safe, follow safety protocols, wash your hands, and take care of your loved ones as we navigate through this challenging time.


For more information on how Siskin Children's Institute is addressing this health concern and links to important information locally, regionally, and nationally, including information about how to talk to your children about Coronavirus, and additional resources in the Chattanooga and Nashville areas, visit siskin.org/healthadvisory.


Prescription Refills or Questions? Click HERE for the Athena Patient Portal or Call the Nurse Line 423.490.7734. Please visit the Athena Patient Portal on our website and read our recently Updated Prescription Policy before calling the number above.


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