Parents hire coach to limit screen time


(ABC) – Parents are trying something new to cut their kids’ screen time: hiring coaches to help kids become less dependent on their devices.

The Owens of Bellevue, Washington recognize the familiar scene of the entire family tuned out and glued to screens.

Jenna, 13; Grace, 12; and Georgia, 9 were all admittedly obsessed with their smartphones and tablets.

Their parents were at their wit’s end so the family turned to Emily Cherkin, a former teacher, to help them reclaim a normal life.

She’s one of a growing number of consultants being hired by families to swoop in and rescue zoned out kids from their device additions.

For a fee, she hunkers down with the family.

If you’re wondering why parents pay for something they have the power to do, Sonja Owen said it’s not that easy.

“I would just want to be like, ‘Okay, all done, and grab it out of their hands. But that never went well,’” Sonja said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all kids limit screen time.

As the Owens learned from their consultant, kids’ screen time should be earned – not given.

Now, the Owens are seeing their kids riding bikes, walking the dog, and playing more.

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This story was originally published on July 11, 2019

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