Back-to-School Tips: Designate Device-free Time

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August 2, 2023 by HCDE Communications

As school districts implement more digital assignments, it’s important for parents to encourage children to break away from the screens. According to research, 49% of American children under age two have interacted with a mobile device. [1] Meanwhile, 95% of teens have access to a smartphone; 45% of teens say they are online almost all the time. [2]  

Designate Device-free Time

Prior to the explosion of apps and games aimed at young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offered parents specific guidelines for managing children’s screen time which discouraged screen time for children under two and recommended limiting “screen time” to two hours a day for children three and above.  

Since observed changes in how media impacts children, the AAP has released expanded and more relaxed guidelines. Here are a few ideas you can implement to help your child make the most of this back-to-school season:  

Create media-free times & areas in your home. It is important to preserve family time. Make meals or bedtime routines media-free, which will encourage family time, healthier eating, and sleep habits.  

Be a good role model. Limit your own media use and model this behavior for your children. Attentive parenting requires you to spend quality time with your kids away from screens.  

Content matters. The quality of media consumption is more important than the platform or time spent with a device. Prioritize how your child spends their screen time rather than just setting a timer.

Sources: Pew Research Center (1, 2)

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