Parents: Do you limit your kids' screen time?

How do you handle it when your rules differ from their friends?

When Grace Suellentrop, 11, got her iPod touch, it came with a lot of excitement. It also came with a contract, a written agreement Grace had to sign.

The contract outlines all of the rules, including when the iPod touch gets turned off. One rule states, "I will hand the phone to one of my parents every school night promptly at 9 p.m."

Grace's mom Kelly keeps on eye on how much time her daughter spends on her phone.

"If we feel like you've been on it too much, you need to put it down and play outside," Kelly said.

However, not all parents have rules on screen time, like Jenny Beatrice, a mom of a 14-year-old boy.

"Some parents are stricter than others. I would put myself in the less strict category," she said.

If confronted with parents who have vastly different rules on screen time, doctors say, it's best to trust your kids' judgment.

"Your child has to have a good set of rules, that are strong within them, what their values are, how to get out of get out of a situation, or navigate a situation that are not the rules that he has at his home," said Dr. Diana Roukoz, a pediatrician with Mercy Kids. "You are not going to change the other child's behavior, but your child should be held to some sort of standard."

Dr. Roukouz also suggests parents should have conversations about screen time with kids, starting as toddlers.

Parents, no matter their opinions on screen time, say setting expectations early is key. So, even if parents can't count every minute of screen time, they know they can count on their kids' judgment.

"She knows what her expectations are. And she knows what's right and what's wrong," Kelly said.

 

Screen time contract by martellaro on Scribd

 


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