WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)
During the pandemic, kids relied on tablets, laptops and smart phones for everything from school to communicating with each other.
Now that school is nearly out for the summer and health restrictions are being eased, parents are back at square one, trying to reduce their child’s screen time.
Dr. Claire Paxton, pediatrician at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital, says one thing that will help is the summer weather.
“Even just unstructured playtime outside is wonderful,” Dr. Paxton said. “The City of Wheeling has done a great job revitalizing their playgrounds. And we’re fortunate that we have Oglebay, Grand Vue and Barkcamp.”
It’s ironic that kids were forced to become dependent on screen time last year, and now they need to be weaned off.
Dr. Paxton says to lead by example.
“The kids are going to imitate what you do,” she noted. “So the more quality time you’re spending with your kids rather than in front of a screen will make a big difference in what they want to do.”
She suggests setting time limits—no more than two hours of screen time a day.
But don’t make it a big fight.
She suggests a relaxed approach.
“I wouldn’t make too much of a fuss over it,” she says. “Just gradually decrease it. And remember to model good behavior for them yourself.”