`Two-minute warnings’ make turning off the TV harder: Study

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ISLAMABAD : New research shows that giving a child a “two-minute warning” before turning off a video game or TV show makes it harder for a child to turn away from a screen.

To learn more about how families manage a child’s screen time, researchers from the University of Washington’s Computing for Healthy Living & Learning Lab interviewed 27 families with children ages 1 to 5 about how they limit and end a child’s viewing time, Health News reported.

They then asked a separate set of 28 families to fill out a diary describing each time their child interacted with a screen over a period of two weeks, including how the screen time experience ended, whether the child was upset with the ending, and how the screen time fit into a child’s ordinary routine.

Parents reported that their children were significantly more upset, more often, when given a warning that screen time was about to end than when screen time was stopped without a warning.

Making screen time part of a routine also eased the transition away from it, the researchers said. If a screen was always turned off at a particular stage – for example, when breakfast was ready – children rarely objected. But parents, they said, were reluctant to use that as a tool, worried that it would “cement screen time into their schedule” and lead to more.

Research suggesting that parents may be putting too much weight on a few negative experiences when they think about screen time.

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