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Controlling Children’s Behavior with Screen Time Leads to More Screen Time

Giving your child extra time on the iPad for good behaviour may not be the best idea according to a new University of Guelph study.

Researchers found children, whose parents dole out screen time as a reward or revoke it as punishment, spend more time on a smartphone, tablet, computer or in front of the television than children whose parents don’t.

“It’s similar to how we shouldn’t use sugary treats as rewards because by doing so we can heighten the attraction to them,” said family relations and applied nutrition professor Jess Haines, who worked on the study with Lisa Tang. “When you give food as a reward it makes children like the carrot less and the cake more. Same thing with screen time.”

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