When it comes to helping your children build healthy digital habits, you may not know where to start. Here are some helpful tips from the AAP's Center of Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health that can make a big difference for your family.
Build a Family Media Plan
Balance family time & screen time
Create screen-free times and places in your home (such as meals and bedtime).
Set do-not-disturb times on devices and media time limits.
Track online activities and talk about which ones may be problematic.
screen-free activities your family enjoys.
Make a habit of turning off media that isn't in use. Try music if you need ambient
Talk about social media
Start regular, open-minded conversations with your children (even the youngest ones!) about their social media use, and
Ask questions like:
What do you like about social media platforms?
How do you feel when you're on social media? And when I'm on social media?
Have you seen anything concerning?
Help children understand:
What's real and what's edited.
How to recognize
ads or inappropriate content.
media and emotions connect.
Make sure your kids know they can come to you about their experiences online.
Set a good example
your own habits in discussions about social media usage.
When your attention is on your device, tell your kids what you're doing.
Be kind to others online and talk to your kids about how you are using media for good.
Optimize your family's online experience
If you're concerned about your child's social media usage or mental health, talk with your pediatrician.
Funding for the National Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellness was made possible by Grant No. SM087180 from SAMHSA of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the US Government. Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellbeing (SMMW CoE). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the US Government.