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A guide to using screen time well

I bought my son an iPhone a few months ago. This was partly as a reward for working towards an exam but mainly as a practical solution to him travelling on public transport to secondary school for the first time on his own.

As decisions go, this was one of my worst ones ever. It only took a matter of hours until he was completely hooked and trying to limit the amount of time he spends on it has become a constant battle. Luckily, my husband is not the type to say “I told you so” but he had been very opposed to it from the start on the basis that too much screen time is terrible for young children's social and mental development.

But anyway...now he has the phone, and I guess there are some positives. He’s been quickly able to connect with new friends and has settled into his school very well. But, the question remains, how do we ensure that our children use today’s technology in a constructive, safe and balanced way as opposed to becoming social media and gaming addicts which could, in my experience, happens all too easily.

My friend just sent me this recent piece from the New York Times which I thought I’d share as I think it’s a great read as it has some useful advice for us parents with children of all ages. 

The main piece of advice I’m taking away from it is that I need to be a good better role model to my children when using my phone too and not be on it so much too. I’m mainly accessing my emails for work but my kids don’t really see that. Children need to learn by example and this has acted as a good reminder that I need to I need to practise what I preach.

Let me know what you think, and do drop me a line if you have any comments about your children and how you manage their screen time.

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