Is reducing your children’s screen time a part of your New Year’s resolutions? Consider this first. – News from Saint-Georges

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ST. GEORGE – Some families are making New Year’s resolutions to cut screen time, and the experts have some tips for getting your kids to put down their cellphones or tablets.

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The key is to identify your child’s vulnerabilities and address the underlying issues.

Dr Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, founder and president of the association Children and Screens: Institute for Digital Media and Child Development and clinical assistant professor of pediatric public health in the Department of Family, Demographic, and Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York City, for example said that your pre-adolescent son could use play to reduce loneliness and connect with friends, so more in-person playdates can help.

“Other times, the reason kids have trouble turning off games has to do with something physiological, like a dopamine surge from gambling,” said Hurst-Della Pietra.

Some children use play to cope, to escape problems they may have at school or at home, in which case therapy can help. Experts say it’s important to set screen time rules, just like bedtime and nutrition rules. Many families ban screens at the table and turn off the Wi-Fi on their devices at a certain time each night.

Hurst-Della Pietra has warned that it’s not wise to try and stop the screen-time cold turkey.

“Find where digital media doesn’t serve your family and decide to take baby steps,” suggested Hurst-Della Pietra. “Then it can lead to big improvements in the well-being of all. “

Additionally, she recommended that families look for other fun, screen-less activities like a family game night.

Written by SUZANNE POTTER, Nevada News Connection.

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