When you establish rules for screen use as a family, try listening to the needs of every family member in order to reach a consensus. But remember, in the case of a disagreement, you have the last word (you’re the parent!).

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Here are 4 tips to guide the use of screens

1. Try to be clear and consistent when dealing with your children. If, for example, tablet use is limited to 30 minutes a day, both parents need to respect this rule as often as possible.

2. Try to be flexible by tailoring the rules for everyone according to age and needs. For example, your teen may need a laptop to do schoolwork, but not your youngest.

3. Talk about “online” and “offline” activities rather than opposing the “virtual world” and the “real world.” Accept that online friends or experiences can be “real” for your child.

4. Avoid using screens as punishment. The time allotted for screen use to your children can be earned, but it is preferable to avoid using it to punish them, which could increase their desire to connect.