Great Smiles NJ - June 2022

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1 Dental Work Makes Insect Study Possible INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2 Your Mental Health Can Affect Your Mouth 3 Beating the Midday Slump Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers 4 Tips to Break Your Kids’ Phone Habits

Breaking the Habit How to Cut Your Kids’ Screen Time

The science is clear: Too much screen time can lead to kids experiencing developmental delays, poor sleep, and weight gain. And yet, kids love those small glowing devices. To keep your children healthy, you need to find a way to set limits. But how can you create rules around their favorite pastimes without causing a lot of drama? Create realistic rules. You know your family best. Review the American Academy of Pediatrics’ best practices for screen time online, and then consider what’s both healthy and doable. Maybe the ultimate screen time spent will be more than the experts suggest, but an improvement is better than no change. Determine usage limits and establish device-free times. Then create clear expectations and consequences, and don’t back down from enforcing them. Take the devices away. It is not a punishment, though it might feel like one to your kids at first. But it’s actually helping them by removing the temptation. Your elementary school child will be less likely to get sucked into a YouTube hole, and your teen won’t send “just one” text at dinner if the device isn’t right there. Keep these devices out of

sight during no-use time, and put them away once your kids have met their daily limits. In the end, it will make things easier. Spend More Time Together. Giving your children your undivided attention is incredibly valuable, even if it’s

only for short periods. Figure out how you can create more face time (not FaceTime). Start conversations and play games to spend time together as a family. Even better, get outside! If you’re willing to spend time with them and act a little silly, your kids will

have more fun kicking a ball around rather than playing Roblox. Better yet, you’ll both get some exercise.

Finally, consider the example you’re setting. It’s hard to blame kids for their screen addiction when adults also have trouble prying themselves away from laptops, tablets, and phones. Think about how you can reduce your

own screen time and consider installing an app that tracks your usage like StayFree or Social Fever. You might be surprised at how much time you spend staring at a little screen — and be inspired to cut back.


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