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How to scale back your kid's tech usage during the school year

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Parents are thinking about how they will scale back their child's summertime tech usage.

Many kids played games or went on social media for at least part of their summer days.

So how can parents regulate their kids' tech usage and transition them into the school year?

A big part of the transition is communicating what your expectations are.

Child Psychotherapist Dr. Erin Leonard says parents should talk to their kids before school starts. That way they have time to psychologically and emotionally prepare for the change in daily routine -- especially the homework they will have after school.

Leonard says it's important to keep a balance between technology and other activities.

One way to achieve that is by treating screen time as a reward after they complete their homework. She says that will help get them in routine of learning how to manage their time themselves.

"Parents always want to be aware of what their child is doing on social media and with technology,” says Leonard. “So just making sure they are monitoring it and making sure the safety apps are in place and making sure that if they are on their iPad for a really, really long time -- and you don't hear a peep -- that it is something age-appropriate.”

Parents, here are just a few resources available that can help limit how much time your kids spend on their devices:

- Curbi can lock apps, block inappropriate sites, track online activity and put a cap on screen time. Parents can even restrict features like the camera and in-app purchases. You can download it for free on the Apple Store or Google Play.

- Kidslox is similar to Curbi. Parents can set daily limits. When that time runs out, the phone goes into lockdown mode. Parents can adjust time as needed.

- Another is Our Pact. It can block texting or apps and sites. Parents can set a schedule for use during school, dinner time or bedtime. It can also tell parents where their child is via their family locator.


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