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How to Control Social Media Usage in Kids?

Most children in today’s world touch their first screen while still in diapers. Social media and smartphones are reportedly available to 95% of teenagers. So what is the ideal amount of screen time for kids?

The most recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are shared by Courtney Batt, MD, an expert in adolescent medicine at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, to assist parents in solving this dilemma.

For young children and babies

Younger children have difficulty comprehending what they see on screens. Additionally, toddlers who watch TV or use tablets lessen social interaction, which is important for brain development. For the development of their thinking, language, social, and emotional skills, infants and early toddlers require experiential learning and social interaction.

However, a complete ban is not required. Instead, set limits on media consumption and only let your kids use screens when an adult is present to help them discuss and apply what they’ve learned. One excellent example of appropriate media use for this age group is making video calls to family members and parents.

Around ages 18 to 24 months, high-quality educational programming can be introduced, according to the AAP. These shows should also only be watched for an hour a day until the age of five. To help their kids comprehend what they see, parents should watch with them.

For Kids in School

When children are a little older, carefully chosen educational TV shows and apps can support their learning.

Nonetheless, children of this age ought to spend time offline. Social interactions and unstructured play are crucial for learning and creativity. Make it a point to set aside time each day for unstructured, unplugged play.

Additionally, prevent electronics from being used in kids’ bedrooms at night and limit screen time to no more than an hour before bed. Discourage children from using other media or watching TV while they are doing their homework.

For Teens

According to Dr. Batt, allowing teenagers to use social media can help them form healthy habits, expose them to fresh perspectives and news, and provide them with connections to communities and support systems. “But it’s crucial that parents keep an eye on this usage and understand that social media and screen time can also be harmful for teenagers.”

Over one-third of teenagers claim to use social media nearly nonstop. Here are some tips for parents on how to assist teens in using social media in a safe and healthy manner, whether it be on Instagram, TikTok, Discord, or Twitch.

Do: 

Permit them to form wholesome virtual connections.

“Many teenagers—especially those who are anxious or lonely—benefit from the support and companionship that comes from interacting with peers who are similar to them,” says Dr. Batt.

Keep an eye out for misuse of social media.

Lying to keep access to platforms and being unable to stop using devices are warning signs. Problematic use has been connected to attention deficits and sleep issues.

Dr. Batt asserts, “Social media shouldn’t interfere with sleep, school, or physical activity.” In order to set a positive example for their children, parents should also set time limits for themselves.

Don’t: 

Give younger children unsupervised access to social media.

Kids under the age of fifteen should have their social media usage reviewed and discussed by parents. Additionally, you ought to keep abreast of the latest platforms that teenagers may be using.

Permit interaction with content that is harmful.

This covers topics like bullying and discrimination, as well as content about risky or self-harming behaviors. Make a profile for yourself and “friend” your child, or ask teenagers to share their online activities with you. You’ll be aware of what goes on in their virtual world in this way.

Permit comparisons on social media.

Comparing oneself to other social media users can be harmful, particularly when it comes to appearance and interaction metrics like likes and comments. If it appears in your child’s behavior, whether it be online or offline, take appropriate action.

At All Ages

Limiting media consumption wisely can help avoid negative effects like obesity, restless nights, and issues at home and at school.

Making a plan for family media use is one way to go about it. Work together to draft a document outlining the fundamentals. Think about:

  • Bedrooms should not have screens.
  • Family dinners without electronics.
  • a “curfew for the media” that ends at least one hour early.
  • observing the age-appropriate content that is based on TV, game, and film ratings.

Set an example for appropriate media. Put your phone away, for example, during family dinners. Choose TV shows that promote kindness, creativity, and education instead of the news and violent ones.

Muhammad Imran
Muhammad Imranhttps://tawarepakistan.com/
I am an experienced content writer with a passion for crafting engaging and impactful content across various platforms. Skilled in audience research, storytelling, and SEO optimization. I am proficient in creating clear, concise, and compelling copy that resonates with readers. Strong ability to adapt tone and style to suit diverse audiences and brand voices. Dedicated to delivering high- quality content that drives results and enhances brand visibility.

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