The first thing parents should do is go through a mental-health checklist to determine whether screen time has gotten out of hand, said David Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the nonprofit Child Mind Institute. Are your kids getting enough sleep? Are they exercising? Are they eating when they should? Are they invested in their schoolwork? Are they having enough face-to-face time with family? Do they resist when you ask them to turn off the video game or stop scrolling Instagram?
“Screens themselves aren’t intrinsically harmful, it’s the things they push out—the things we need for mental health and wellness,” he said.