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Healthy Digital Media Use & First Phone Readiness
July 2022 | Issue 223
parents talking with worried child about tragic event in news

Media devices are everywhere, and managing all the channels of communication can be a challenge. Creating a Family Media Plan can help you and your children set media priorities that matter most to your family. Our newly updated tool is based on the latest research on how media use affects kids. It helps you find ways to balance screen time with other activities, sets boundaries for accessing content, gives suggestions on dealing with cyberbullying and encourages age-appropriate critical thinking and digital literacy. Come back to revise your plan as often as you need to, such as at the beginning of each school year or during summer and holiday breaks. Create your family's media use plan here.  


Deciding when your child should have their first phone can be a big deal. Smartphones, in particular, offer a portal to the internet, apps and social media. You may not feel your child is ready for that much access to the digital world. Yet, you may want to get your child a phone for the basics: an easy way to contact you when they're traveling between school, after-school activities or different households, for example. Find important points to consider here. You can also check out the new PhoneReady Questionnaire, developed by AT&T in collaboration with the AAP. 

 Take-Turn Drawings 

Show your kids how fun it can be to work—and play—together. Have one child draw something ("one day, an alligator woke up…"), and the other embellish it with something silly ("…and he put on roller skates…") and so on. Tell a story piece by piece, and see where it goes, and how ridiculous you can make it.

Read more in this month's Power of Play article, Siblings as Playmates: 5 Ways to Prevent Squabbles. Find printable play sheets here.
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