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Good screen vs bad screen - how to get the right balance

Updated: Jan 6

For many children, in particular older ones deprived of their social groups, lockdown slowly resulted in them retreating like zombies into a parallel tech world, with reports of some children spending hours on end watching YouTube, Tik Tok, or playing games like Fortnite.

One five year old spent so much time online, they developed an American accent.

Now with the threat of further lockdowns we sought some practical advice on re-setting boundaries with our children around tech.

Elaine Halligan is the Director of The Parent Practice and has shared her pointers on how to get a healthy balance between 'good' screen time and 'bad'.

Technology has always been a big issue for parents, as we’ve always fretted about the amount of time our children are spending in front of screens, but the digital babysitter is now invading our lives 24/7 as screens are used for schooling, gaming, socializing and guilty pleasure. We fear our children ( and even ourselves) will start to develop an addiction to technology. We have all read about the fact that Steve Jobs would not allow his children to use an i-pad, and that many Silicon Valley executives are selecting schools with minimal IT resources in the classroom.

The horrifying statistic is that by the age of seven, the average British child born today will have spent an entire year of her life in front of a screen, and given lockdown and COVID, I am confident that statistic will worsen.

Here are 7 top tips to ensuring you and your children find your way through the new normal digital landscape, where screens are no longer a one dimensional activity and not all screen time is equal.