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Families & ScreenTime


By Alison Goldberg


for limiting children’s screen time that might surprise parents: no screen time (except video chat) for children less than 18 months old, building to only one hour per day for children up to age five, with greater flexibility for children age six and older. However, with increased screen time, there’s a higher likelihood a child will be overweight and suffer from poor sleep. With the rapid proliferation of screened devices (such as TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets), just how can you redirect a child’s attention and reconnect? Here are some tips.


necessary, the heads of the household should set the gold standard for etiquette, so follow your own rules.


can help draw boundaries and carve out allowances that make everyone happy. Some rules that might work for your family are:


• No devices at the dinner table. Tis also means no TV at meals. If you or your spouse has a profession that requires 24/7 access, such as physician or police officer, exceptions can be made; perhaps that phone goes on the counter instead of in another room. Tis might be difficult for families at first, but teaching children how to engage in small talk over a meal while using proper table manners will serve them (and you) very well throughout life.


• No devices at bedtime. Set up a charging station in the family room where everyone leaves their device at night. Tis ensures kids get proper sleep and reduces eye strain; it also means you don’t have to worry as much about what they’re up to while you’re sleeping. Tis rule might also mean no TVs in bedrooms.


Set basic rules. Setting a few basic rules about screen time and device use


Model screen and device etiquette. No matter what screen and device rules your family decides are


Te American Academy of Pediatrics has recommendations


• Pets: If you have a family pet, maybe it needs stimulation, too. Walking, brushing, playing with and training the dog are all things young children can do with your help and older children can do autonomously.


• Books: Te original TV. Make liberal use of your local or school library and check yard sales to keep reading an inexpensive hobby.


• No family computers behind closed doors. Parents should monitor children’s online activity, which is easier to do when devices stay in communal spaces.


• Community events: Look at the calendars of local museums, observatories, gardens and libraries, and put their most intriguing offerings on your calendar. Check the local theater for kid-friendly offerings.


• Always use a blue light reduction filter. Tis seriously reduces eye strain that, over the course of a lifetime, could cause significant damage to eyes and sleep cycles.


and frustrating situations, but there are other easy options, too. Make a list of fun, engaging things that don’t involve screens and are age-appropriate activities for your children. Ideas might include:


• Art: Put together kits for age-appropriate activities, like art kits with character coloring books for preschoolers or


NO. OF OUTAGES


45 2 4 1 2 4 2 1


Help your children find other things to do. Screen time is an easy solution to myriad behavioral problems


garage sale dishes so older children can make mosaics.


• Community involvement: Te local theater is also a great place to get the children out of the house, engaging with people of all ages and getting used to team work; even small children can find parts. Check local parks for clean-up days. Volunteer to read stories aloud for seniors or other children.


for you and your family. Allison Goldberg writes and edits employee benefits-related materials for


the Insurance and Financial Services Dept. of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.


MONTHLY OUTAGE REPORT CAUSE OF OUTAGE


Lightning Wind Storm WFEC Trees Animal Unknown


Every family and every child is different. Do what works best


NO. OF METERS AFFECTED Bad transformer


752 1099 2 5 2 1


For the month of August Harmon Electric experienced 61 separate outages. The total members affected were 2,233 with an average time off of 2.52 hours. The majority of outages were due to storms passing through our area.


369 3


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