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Expert: What is the best way to encourage kids to reduce their screen time?
Jay-Jay & Flynny
Jay-Jay & Flynny

We Ask an Expert: What is the best way to get kids to reduce their screen time?

What's the most encouraging way to get kids off their devices, without getitng into a fight with them each time?
10 March 2023 12:01PM

Are your children spending too much time staring at their phones?

Social media platform TikTok has announced it will be implementing a new restriction time feature for users aged 18 and under in the coming weeks, limiting daily screen time to 60 minutes.

When kids reach that limit, they will need to enter a passcode to continue watching, which TikTok says will force teens to make an "active decision" to continue scrolling.

For those users who are 12 and under, a parent or guardian will need to set or enter an existing passcode to "enable 30 minutes of additional watch time."

While there is no right answer for the appropriate amount of screen time a kid should have, there has been research that notes the link between depression and increased social media use in young users, and the unhealthy behaviours exhibited with too much screen time.

We asked our friend and expert Nathan Wallis, a neuroscience educator, about the best techniques to encourage our kids to put down their phones. And he says it begins with building good habits.

"The more minutes per day they're looking at a screen, the more of a chance there is of anxiety and depression when they're older. Studies have shown that if a kid has two hours a day of 'device-free time' every day, it completely takes them completely outside of that risk group."

"It's gotta be ritualised. If it's like 4pm to 6pm every day, they only whinge about it for the first two weeks, and then they're over it."

Hear more advice from Nathan Wallis and how as a parent you can support healthy behaviours in our Expert highlight above!

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