By Haiting Hu

Screen time spent on cellphones and tablets has become a common tool for parents to occupy and entertain their kids. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning has made parents “redefine screen time” for their children and has raised concerns about balancing screen time usage with life outside of technology. “For teens and preteens, they kind of debrief with their phones, playing games or looking at silly videos, so you still want to give them that time to relax,” says a mother of three in an interview with Spectrum News.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has created the Family Media Plan to help parents monitor children’s screen time and avoid problems such as addiction and loss of sleep due to overuse. The Washington Times Herald shares some guidelines in its article, such as setting aside specific times for screen use and areas at home where screen use is prohibited, using the “Family Sharing” feature via Apple to ensure online safety, and encouraging outdoor activities.

Articles on Spectrum News and CCN Health both note that screen time is not necessarily a negative as long as parents and tech companies help children manage the quality over quantity of their technology use.

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