Experienced Screen User Program
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children between the ages of 2 and 5 limit their screen activities to no more an hour a day. The AAP also recommends that children 6 years and older have a consistent screen time limit.
Generally, children over the age of 6 can be considered Experienced Screen Users. This is the age group where they have had experience with screens and in many cases look for every opportunity to use them.
One of the most important things that parents can do for their Experienced Screen Users is to model responsible screen behavior. Being a responsible screen user does not mean avoiding screens all the time. For many of us, our smartphone, tablet or computer are crucial to our jobs, so using screens for work is a responsible use of screens. Using screens to check the weather, look up addresses, or other information are also responsible screen uses. Screen activities such as playing games, shopping or checking social media are not good uses of screens. A good rule of thumb is that when you are with your children, only use your screens when it is needed.
The Responsible Screens App is a very effective tool that can help parents limit smartphone and tablet time for Experienced Screen Users. The App gives the parents the set a master time limit for when their children have access to the apps on their devices. For example they might be able to access apps from 7:00am to 10:00pm. From 10:00 to 7:00, they would be blocked from using those apps.
Parents will have the opportunity to place the apps on their children’s devices into categories such as Social Media, Media and games. Then they can put time limits on each category and once their children reach those limits in each category, they will receive a message stating that their time limit has been reached for the day. The children will have to wait until the next day to access those apps.
Any new apps that the children download will be placed in a category titled “Other”. Parents can place a time limit of “0 “ in this category. If parents want their children to have access to these apps, they simply place them in the appropriate category.
Parents can also have the option to log in to the website and disable a category in real time. This will shut this category down until the parents decide to enable the category again.
For Experienced Screen Users, starting this program can be a shock. For many young people, screen use can be treated almost as an addiction and the program should be implemented in such a way as to help lower those impulses. For more information on how to break addictive behavior, click here.
In summary, Experienced Screen Users will need time to adjust to the new limitations. In time, they can learn to be self-responsible can avoid many of the problems that can happen with uncontrolled screen use.
For more information, visit: www.aap.org.