‘Screenagers’: How to limit your kids’ screen time

Free viewing and provider discussion of documentary ‘Screenagers’ available to help kids and parents understand the effects of screen time

The documentary “Screenagers” features a woman who is both a mother and pediatrician searching for the answer to how much screen time is appropriate for kids.

Norton Children’s Prevention and Wellness is hosting a screening for middle school and high school students and parents so families can begin the conversation around how technology affects our lives. As a parent, I have struggled to find an answer on how to let my children interact with technology.

Here is what I learned from “Screenagers”:

  • Kids spend an average of 6½ hours a day on screens, not including classroom or homework.
  • This amount of screen time limits other activities, such as healthy creative play and time outside exploring. Screen time also reduces exercise.
  • Too much screen time can decrease empathy for others due to fewer face-to-face interactions.
  • Girls tend to spend more time on social media, while boys tend to spend more time on video games.
  • Research shows that playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts and actions.
  • Technology addiction is real, and we need to be aware.
Screenagers” Movie Showing Party

Join Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness for a special screening of the movie “Screenagers: Growing up in the digital age.” A discussion with Norton Children’s medical providers will follow the screening.

Friday, April 19
Marshall Women’s Health & Education Center
Norton Medical Plaza 3 – St. Matthews
Suite 108, Classroom B
4123 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, Kentucky

Who: Any middle or high school-aged kids and parents

Norton Children’s Medical Group

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Let’s face it, technology is here to stay. As parents, we have the ability to help guide our children. To do this, we can implement the following rules:

  • Screen-free family meals: no TV dinners!
  • Screen-free sleep environments. Sleeping near a small screen or having a TV in the room can lead to sleep problems — and 75 percent of teens don’t get adequate sleep.
  • Set time goals to help children and teens do homework without technology distractions. They can then take “tech breaks.” Multitasking with a device can inhibit learning.
  • Have “Tech Talk Tuesdays”: Have open discussions about technology with your children. Ask the following questions:
    • “What do you think is appropriate or inappropriate to post online?”
    • “Have you seen friends overshare or stir up drama?”
  • Lead by example. Parents need to put their phones down and have face-to-face conversations. Unfortunately, many children report seeing parents text and drive.

Erin R. Frazier, M.D., a pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway, is medical director at Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness.