Experts weigh in on getting kids electronic gifts this holiday season

Gift giving and increased screen time

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As more schools begin returning to virtual learning models, some parents may be worried about putting more screens in their kid’s hands this holiday season.

Birmingham area licensed child counselor Lauren Roberts said too much screen time can be dangerous for kids, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy them a new device.

Roberts said too much time on electronics can cause social isolation, developmental issues, and behavioral issues.

She said it’s OK for most children to learn virtually, but some can struggle. She said one thing to help is taking a break in between educational screen time and recreational screen time. She suggested outdoor and creative activities.

When it comes to getting your kids new devices this season, Roberts said it’s OK, as long as you are mixing in non-electronic activities and you talk with your kids.

“Make sure we are talking with our children about why we are going to use this device,” Roberts said. “Are we going to use it to communicate more with our family members, to Facetime our family members, and connect with others? Or, are we going to use it more to isolate and engage in those kinds of behaviors? We want to talk about what we are using this device for.”

Roberts said another way to monitor your child’s screen time is taking away devices at least one hour before bed.

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