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Screen-Time Management For Children With Additional Needs:

  • Managing Screen-time can be an extremely difficult part of parenthood to understand & navigate.
  • Excessive screen-time can result in meltdowns, emotional regulation difficulties and poor emotional well-being for our children.


Tips for Managing Screens in the Home:

1. Limit Screen: Time around Mealtimes & Bedtime: Removing screens at mealtimes will provide your child the opportunity to engage with you and your family. Removing screens before bed is important for sleep as screens can impact the brain’s ability to switch off before bedtime.

2. Create Screen Free Zones: Set rules around where you can and cannot use screens in your house. Setting these rules may helpful to manage the amount of time your children are on their devices.

3. Provide other Options: When you are attempting to limit screen-time it is important that your children have other activities to engage in. Examples: Redirecting your children to the garden. Having different toys or board games in the house can also be helpful to maintain your child’s interest.

4. Offer Time Warnings Prior to Turning Off the Device: When screen time is almost finished, it is important that to give time warnings before turning off the screen. This will prepare your child cognitively for what to expect. This will hopefully reduce the chance of meltdown when transitioning away from the screen. The use of visual timers my be helpful for some children.

5. Set Boundaries: It is important to set boundaries around screen-time usage. Setting these boundaries around the use of screen-time and building it into your children's routine may cause resistance initially. However, holding these boundaries in place will help your children create expectations around screen-time usage and will help manage behaviors in the long term.

6. Model the Behavior: An important point to consider when managing screen-time at home is to lead by example. Your children will be watching and learning from you at all times, it is important to do your best to model the behaviors that you expect from your children.


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