Deep down, a lot of parents have the same regret: I wish I waited a bit longer before letting my child have a cell phone.
Katherine Martinko definitely doesn't have that regret. A journalist, author and mother of three, she still won't allow her 14-year-old son to own a smartphone — and she isn't about to change her mind anytime soon.
If you read her new book — Childhood Unplugged: Practical Advice to Get Kids Off Screens and Find Balance — you will understand why.
How can you limit screen time for your kids? Martinko has plenty of suggestions.
"Save the devices for rainy days," she said, during a recent appearance on Village Media's Inside the Village podcast. "They should be for special occasions."
She also put the onus on parents.
"Parents need to model good behaviour," she said. "That's another big point that is not discussed often enough. We can lament the amount of time our kids are on their devices, but if we are on our phones five, six hours a day, you don't really have a leg to stand on with that argument. I think it's important for parents to put in the time to develop offline hobbies and interests, and also to help enrich their children's offline lives."
You can watch the full episode HERE.
Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.
Every episode is available HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.
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