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Using screen time to your advantage

Posted on 09 July 2019 by Information Unit

You’ve heard the stories. Screen time is bad… right? Mums, dads and carers want to do their best for their kids and it's pretty easy to feel like a failure if you give into screen time even if its hailing outside...

But you don’t have to rip that smartphone from your increasingly strong 10-year-old’s hand for their own good. Maybe we can help you get through this holiday without feeling so guilty about letting your kids indulge.

Use the inevitable screen time to your advantage and talk to you children about what they are watching. Have a family discussion about a particular movie, episode or even scene and listen to their views on the content.

As part of our research we asked younger Kiwis about communication in their families. They said they wished they could talk to the adults in their lives more. Asked the same question their parents/caregivers give the same response. We have some resources on our website to help kick off those conversations.

Dr Sue Bagshaw, recently made a Dame for her 30 years work in youth health, shares her amazing wisdom and offers some practical advice in these videos.

The videos below feature Dr Bagshaw describing some more tools for starting conversations and asking questions that parents and caregivers can adapt to suit their own needs and situations. Take a look:



Also don’t forget to get the classification note before your young people start watching. Sometimes, depending what’s going on in their life at the time, you might just want to skip a show if it’s getting into issues that are a bit full on.

Read about how to talk to young people about what they are watching here.

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A girl pokes out her tongue as she looks at a smartphone
Child using a tablet, choosing an option from an application
Child looks at a tablet with a lit up screen


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