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reviewed 7/24/18

Kids and media: True or false?

Computers, tablets, smartphones. Kids are growing up in a digital world. How can parents help their children develop healthy relationships with media early on in their lives? Take this quiz and find out.

True or false: Computers and smartphones are such a big part of life today, and kids should start becoming familiar with them as soon as possible.

False. Parents shouldn't let children younger than 18 months use screen media, including televisions and tablets, except to video chat with a loved one while an adult is present. Children younger than 2 years should only be allowed to use screen media when an adult is present—not when the child is alone.

True or false: A media plan for the household should apply to everyone in the family equally so that no one feels left out.

False. A media plan for the household is a good idea, but most of it should be customized to each child's age, personality and developmental stage. A media plan should include screen-free zones in the house, screen-free times and device curfews.

True or false: Making bedrooms screen-free zones can help children get a better night's sleep.

True. Keeping digital and other media out of kids' bedrooms can help them avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. Make this easier by keeping device chargers outside bedrooms.

True or false: Teens are well aware that anything shared online will exist indefinitely.

False. Just because today's teens grew up in the digital world doesn't mean they understand all the ramifications of posting words and photos online. Parents should regularly remind kids to behave the same online as in the real world.

True or false: There's no reason to think that playing violent video games could have an effect on your child.

False. Kids who experience more violence in their virtual worlds are more likely to display aggressive behavior in the real world. Parents should try to eliminate violent content from the media diet of children younger than 6. If you allow older children to engage with violent media, watch or play with them to offer an adult perspective.

How to encourage a healthy use of media is just one of the many questions parents may have. Find answers to a wide range of parenting questions.

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Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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