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Improving ‘digital wellness’: Non-profit teaches families to limit phone time

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CHICAGO — Raising your children in the digital world can be a challenge. With phones in the pockets of millions of kids and teens around the country, distraction is just a swipe away.

A San Francisco-based non-profit was created to share ways with families to use technology more mindfully.

Common Sense Media provides tips to improve your family’s “digital wellness.” The company says teens spend an average of nine hours a day online with kids ages 8-12 averaging six.

“Kids don’t have an off switch,” said Common Sense Media's Caroline Knorr . “The tech companies have designed all these products to manipulate us and we are spending more time on them than we know is healthy for us.”

They said if you’re an Apple family, start with the app “Screen Time” to monitor usage. If you're an Android family, use the app "Family Link."

But it doesn’t just start and end with phones.

Knorr said parents need to be mindful of setting parental controls on YouTube and Tik Tok. For apps like Snapchat, parents can only limit the app through the child’s own settings.

Common Sense Media said being open about going into your child’s phone is the best policy.

“You absolutely need to get your kids to buy-in,” Knorr said.

For more information, visit their website.

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