Managing Screen Time For Young Children and Teenagers

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Stephanie Sitnick Ph.D., Assistant Psychology Professor, Department of Psychology and Counseling, Caldwell University, to talk about the debate over screen time for young children and teenagers. Sitnick also provides tips for parents looking to manage their children's screen time.

4/17/19 #2210






"The doctor's in the house. She is Doctor Stephanie Sitnick Assistant Psychology Professor, Department of Psychology and Counseling, Caldwell University Good to see you. Nice to see you. I'm fascinated by this whole question that you have been researching, talk about, and teach and help people. It has to do with screen time. Mm hmm. Screen time and our young children. We happen to have three. Two teenagers and an 8 year old. And I'm thinking, "We're having dinner, what are you doing?" And they think they can have the conversation and still be on the screen. Right. How do we...? Give some tangible, practical advice for those of us who are parents, who are frustrated. Well I'd say the first thing that maybe to think about is what are you modeling for your kids? Right? But we're talking about them not us. [laughter] I know, I know, but they learn from us, right? They do. And it's hard, right? It... there's... It's right there? They're so accessible. You have to just... It's right there? Yeah. it's always right there. But I think limit setting is really important. Right? We... Define that. Saying, "Okay, you have a certain amount of time that you're... you can have access to a screen," or within these sort of restrictions, right? Dinnertime maybe is a no screen zone for the family. I mean, you have to do what works best for each family, but certainly with... limit setting is important, but then parents have to follow those limits too. We can't just say it? Right. Right. Exactly. We have to do it? Mm hmm. And model it? Exactly. What are the...? Who put out some new guidelines on this recently? American Association of Pediatrics put... just released some new guidelines. They had older guidelines that I think they began to realize, with the increased access of phones and tablets and computers, and that they just weren't very practical, so they've adapted those guidelines a little bit to be a little more flexible and to kind of incorporate the fact that what every child and family needs might be a little bit different. Doctor, how do we make this whole question of screen time and the technology right in front of us, what are some of the good, positive things about it for younger people? And then where does the line cross when we go, "Hey this is not good"? There are so many great things about it, right? I mean there's... we... even for adults we... the world is open to us now right? All those, kind of, the knowledge and we have access to things and..."