"My daughters want to be on their Kindles all day long playing games and reading. They say all of their friends spend a lot of time too. Am I being too strict by trying to restrict their play time?"

Today’s children spend, on average, seven hours a day on screen time: watching TV, playing video games, using the Internet.

The AAP recommends limiting screen time to 1-2 hours per day, with none for children under two years of age.  Screen time includes the use of cell phones, DVDs, video games, tablets, etc. Most parents probably agree that limiting screen time is a good idea.  In my house, limited screen time has lead to less  squabbling, more reading, more creative play, more outdoor activities and more physical exercise.

How can we limit our children’s screen time?

Consider having your children earn screen time- by doing extra chores, extra practice time on a particular sport or musical instrument.

Limit screen time to weekends only OR have a TV screen time allotment for the week with the understanding that homework is completed first, chores are done, and there is no screen time right before bedtime.

Keep media out of the bedrooms and off during mealtimes.

Have books around! Turn music on!

Help your children with the shows they choose. Take time to watch shows with your children, allowing for bonding time and giving your opinion on content matter.

Be a good role model for your children: let them see you reading, doing activities, playing music, talking with each other!