Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorWhen I was a kid, I walked barefoot 10 miles uphill each way in the snow to and from school. Took 8 hours.

Today’s kids spend 8 hours a day texting, tweeting, tuning a TV, or typing on a tablet. That’s if they are age 10 or younger.

Older than that, it’s 11 hours a day. That’s a lot of trudging — with fingers.

It is a different world.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The consequences can be rocky: behavioral problems, poor in-person social skills, poor school performance, cyberbullying, sleep problems, sneakiness — everything under the sun. (No, this isn’t about Congress.)

Then again, not all social media and computer work is evil — and whatever you think of it all, this is the new world of technology and parenting — there is no going back.

So the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed some guidelines for parents to work with their kids on a so-called “media diet,” so kids don’t OD with their smart-technology.

Their recommendations:

No computers, TVs, or smartphones in the bedroom.

Media curfew at 9 p.m.

Tablets and phones take a hike at dinner.

And parental involvement. Meaning that you are a parent, not your kid’s BFF.

Monitor texting, Facebook, Twitter … and have regular discussions on what’s going on with your kid’s use of media.

Any issues, problems, stalking, bullying? Be approachable. Be an involved parent.

Here’s a nice link: healthychildren.org/…/How-to-Make-a-Family-Media-Use-Plan.aspx


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