Kids to parents: Put down the phone and pay attention to me

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A father receiving a business call during a family lunch in the garden
Image Credit: Dreamstime
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There’s a lot of talk about limiting screen time for kids — particularly when it comes to mobile devices.

But the children of the world have a message for mom and dad: Physician, heal thyself.

Read more: Study: Parents have no clue what their kids are actually doing online

Parents are living in a state of denial

A new survey of 2,000 English students between the ages of 11 and 18 found young adults are starved for a meal with their parents without the phone.

Fourteen percent of kids said their parents are on their phones throughout family meals. Yet a near majority of parents who were polled separately — 95% — wouldn’t fess up to the crime!

Talk about denying you have a problem.

Meanwhile, 36% of kids said they’ve asked their parents to put down their phones and focus on family time. Sadly, 46% of those kids said their requests went unheeded. That left 44% of them feeling upset and ignored by their parents, according to the survey.

As parents, we talk all the time about how we have to monitor and cap the time our kids spend in front of the TV, the computer or the phone.

But we aren’t modeling good behavior ourselves!

Here are the recommended screen time limits

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has long said that kids over the age of 2 shouldn’t have more than two hours of daily screen time in any form. But that advice is changing.

Here are the new recommendations:

  • Kids from ages 2 to 5 should be limited to one hour of screen time.
  • Children who are 6 and older should a limited amount of screen time, but it’s up to the discretion of the parents to say how much is too much.
  • Children who are 18 months or younger should be banned from screen time entirely.

The problem is, we’re not doing a very good job of limiting our own screen time.

But if technology created this problem in the first place, maybe it can take it away too…

This $99 solution will limit screen time for you and your kids!

If you just can’t seem to put the smartphone or the computer down at night, there’s a $99 device called Screen that will do the following:

  • Set time limits.
  • Track device usage and activities.
  • Set family rules for device and TV usage.
  • Remotely turn off devices at whatever time you as a family agree to.

Screen is supposed to be for parents to limit the electronics in their kids’ lives. But this solution could work for parents too.

Visit GetScreen.com for more details.

Read more: 7 ways to help your child (and maybe even you!) get a better night of sleep

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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