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Recommendations for Children & Technology
  1. Model appropriate use. Do what you say. Put your phone down and make eye contact.

  2. Make time for unstructured free play: alone, with family, and with peers.

  3. Develop interests that relate to the real world, hobbies such as building things, making things, cooking, taking care of animals, reading, and creating. Encourage kids to play with their own imaginations, not someone else’s via a computer game.

  4. Have family meetings where you practice talking for fun and to problem solve.

  5. Talk about your family’s values. Children are being exposed to a lot of values by the media and peers that you might not be okay with.

  6. Set rules and limits on technology with explanations related to values. Kids don’t know what is good for them, that’s why they have parents. Monitor their use. Don’t let them be in control of the technology. It is your computer and your phone they are borrowing.

  7. For young children treat technology like sugar; they like it but it is not particularly good for them. A little is okay, a lot is not. Just like you would not let them eat sweets rather than healthy food, don’t let them consume technology rather than play imaginatively, read, interact with others, or learn how to cope with boredom. For older children, treat technology like alcohol and teach responsible use. Prohibition does not work. Just like alcohol, technology can impair kids’ judgment and be potentially harmful to them. They can become addicted to it and it can interfere with their ability to function in school and with others.

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