Laptops, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices are increasingly part of our daily lives, but sometimes those screens have the ability to take over our attention, and children are even more succeptable to this..

More and more studies are surfacing about the negative effects too much screen time has on children, with a recent study from JAMA Pediatrics finding increased screen time for children leads to a number of issues including having difficulties with general social interactions and overall poor communications skills, as well as diminished problem-solving skills.

So, how can you help reduces your child’s screen time? Start with these four simple tips!

1. Screen time should be a privilege, not a guarantee

Most children, especially teens, have homework or chores. Simply put, they can only use their devices once homework or chores are done. If your child misbehaves at school, in a public setting or for the babysitter, remind them that screen time is a privilege by taking their devices away as punishment.

2. Utilize your devices’ screen time settings to cap time on various apps

Most tablets and smartphones within their own settings have ways to set time limits on apps. Use them! An iOS tutorial can be found here, while an Android tutorial can be found here.

3. Designate times/events as “No-Screen Time”

Sitting down for dinner? Spending time visiting grandparents? These are just basic examples of moments for children to take a break from their screens and enjoy the company around them. Having a cut-off time on devices before bedtime is also something to consider, especially since it’s been found that the blue light emitted from our screens decreases the release of melatonin and leads to poor sleep quality.

4. Reduce your own screen time

Children learn behaviors from those around them. No one needs a study to know that. If you want them to reduce their screen time, you should lead by example. It’s as simple as that.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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