Finding a Healthy Balance of Media and Technology

1. Be a role model. When kids are around, set an example by using media the way you want them to. Keep mobile devices away from the dinner table, turn the TV off when it's not being watched, and use a DVR to record shows to watch later.

2. Start good habits early. The secret to healthy media use is to establish time limits and stick to them. Start when your kids are young by setting screen limits that work for your family's needs and schedule. And don't just talk the talk -- walk the walk!

3. Use media together. Whenever you can, watch, play, and listen with your kids. Ask them what they think of the content. Share your values, and help kids relate what they learn in the media to events and other activities in which they're involved. With older kids, you can draw them out by sharing stuff from your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

4. Keep distractions to a minimum. You probably tell your kids to turn their phones off during homework time. Get rid of the stuff that distracts you, too. Hide your apps so they don't display, set your phone to "do not disturb," or shut down your devices during important family time.

5. Turn off work. Many parents feel they need to be constantly accessible to their jobs. But that's stressful, frustrating, and not realistic. Set boundaries for work time and family time.


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