A Parent’s Place in the War on Cyberbullying

In a recent AP article,  Dr. Victor Strasburger talks about a new policy put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics policy that extends the 2-hour screen-time limit to include social media.

Because cyberbullying takes place away from parental supervision, the AAP recommends strict limits on smartphones, computers and other Internet-connected devices, going as far as saying  TV and internet access have no place in a child’s or teen’s bedroom except for homework.

“Kids are getting way too much computer time,” says one parent. “It’s bad for their socialization, it’s overstimulating, it’s numbing them.” Screens in bedrooms not only interfere with child’s sleep, causing them to be more vulnerable to bullying during school, but they provide access to anti-social modeling. Says Dr. Strasburger, “I guarantee you that if you have a 14-year-old boy and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, he is looking at pornography.”

A two-hour time limit may feel impossible to today’s families, but when children share your goals for them (health, well-developed talents, a positive social life), and parents limit themselves as well, you will find more cooperation.

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