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Co-parents, child custody and child social media usage

Many parents don’t fully agree on their child’s social media usage, but the battle can become downright complex when the parents are divorced. If you and your co-parent don’t see eye-to-eye about things like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Kik, you might think that you’re fighting a never-ending war.

In these cases, it might be best to look at things from a practical standpoint so that you aren’t emotionally invested in the decision. Child health experts warn that too much screen time can harm children, as well as teenagers. The issue here is deciding how much is too much.

A UNICEF study found that some social media is beneficial to children and that technology can help these kids build relationships. The key here is moderation. The average teen spends about nine hours per day on a phone or another electronic device. That’s likely too much. Many experts agree that 60 to 90 minutes is a good range for teens, and the amount of time should be lower for younger children.

Cellphone addiction is a real concern for children and teens. You and your co-parent should watch for signs that the child is spending too much time on their device. These include things like suffering from anxiety, backing away from in-person social interaction, avoiding chores and slipping grades. Those are signs that you may need to reduce the amount of screen time they have.

It’s always best for the child if their parents can agree on things like how much screen time they will have. Having the terms for cellphone usage and social media included in the parenting plan might be beneficial for everyone since it sets clear guidelines.