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In a world of instant gratification, teach kids self-control

In a world of instant gratification and instant access to just about everything, self-control is really important — and can be really challenging.

You can use media to help strengthen kids’ self-control by setting appropriate media limits (with their input), finding media that helps kids organize their schedules and sharpen their focus, watching shows that promote the value of self-control and demonstrate the consequences of having no self-control.

SOCIAL MEDIA, GAMES AND WEBSITES

>> Work together to create a weekly media schedule with a balance of activities and screen time.

>> Find apps and games that require focus and concentration — for example, strategy or role-playing games.

>> Help your kids learn to self-regulate their own behavior.

>> Seek out apps that help kids with organization and routines.

>> Use accessibility settings such as Guided Access to keep tablets locked on one task at a time.

>> Encourage kids to think through the consequences of their online actions.

MOVIES, TV AND BOOKS

>> Create an environment where kids can be consistent with their reading — for example, a certain time of day or a certain place in the house.

>> Encourage your kid to stick with a book for an extra page or chapter before deciding he doesn’t like it.

>> Read about characters who developed self-control.

>> Watch movies and TV that promote self-control.


Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at commonsense.org.


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