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Behavior, Parenting and Discipline > How Can I Limit Television and Computer Use at Home

How Can I Limit Television and Computer Use at Home

Time on the computer and television has been linked to obesity, ADHD and many other undesired consequences. Research has shown negative health effects on violence and aggressive behavior, sexuality, academic performance, body concept and self-image, substance use and abuse patterns, and nutrition, dieting, and obesity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting "screen time" (combined television + video games + movies = anything on a screen) to 10 hours or less per week for those over 2 years. Under 2 years no screen time is recommended.

General recommendations:

  1. Limit children's total media time (with entertainment media) to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day.
  2. Remove television sets from children's bedrooms.
  3. Discourage television viewing for children younger than 2 years and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together.
  4. Monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing.  Most programs should be informational, educational and nonviolent.
  5. View television programs along with children and discuss the content.
  6. Use controversial programming as a stepping-off point to initiate discussions about family values, violence, sex and sexuality, and drugs.
  7. Use the videocassette recorder or DVR wisely to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children.
  8. Support efforts to establish comprehensive media-education programs in schools.
  9. Encourage alternative entertainment for children, including reading, athletics, hobbies, and creative play.
While we do not endorse any specific companies, there are available products that monitor screen time, block out offensive material, restrict use of devices, and more. One such company is Family Safe Media.

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