The ‘4 steps’, the effective method to avoid screen addiction in children

The '4 steps', the effective method to avoid screen addiction in children

The President of the Republic mentioned this on January 16 during his press conference, he hopes that parents can regain “control of the screens” in the face of children who are increasingly exposed. What if for this we took inspiration from the American Academy of Pediatrics and its 4-step method?

While Emmanuel Macron spoke of the harmful role of screens on children as well as parents “without instructions” for managing digital technology in the family; a committee of experts on the subject should make its first recommendations to parents at the end of March, again according to the President of the Republic during his press conference on January 16. In the meantime, to prevent our children from becoming addicted to screens, a method inspired by the American Academy of Pediatrics could well help poor parents.

The “4 steps” method for 4 main principles

Good news, no crazy tips or tricks here, the method is intended to be simple and effective:

  • No screen in the child’s room (nor in that of an adolescent);
  • No screens in the morning before going to nursery, childminder or school;
  • No screens during meals;
  • No screens at least an hour before going to sleep.

These 4 main pillars, the “4 steps”, thus make it possible to limit screen time, particularly among the youngest, while maintaining the freedom to enjoy a cartoon with the family when time permits.

56 minutes in front of a screen every day at just 2 years old

If the reminder of the recommendations is essential it is because the consumption of screens and digital is more and more important, and especially more and more young. According to a report from Public Health France, at two years old, a French child spends on average 56 minutes per day in front of a screen (mobile, television, tablet, etc.). The figure rises to 1h20 per day at three and a half years, then to 1h34 per day at five and a half years. Figures which alarm health professionals, but also teachers who notice numerous disorders linked to this excessive use:

  • Trouble concentrating;
  • Language disorder;
  • Sleep disorder ;

As we grow up, a form of addiction can also appear, as well as an increased risk of obesity and the onset of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.

If digital technology is essential in our daily lives and therefore in that of children, learning good practices is also necessary. So, for more advice on the use of screens, the Government has opened a site dedicated to jeprotegemonenfant parents. You can find lots of information there for young children but also for teenagers!