Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Screen Time Dilemma

Colette B. Cross

How much screen time is too much?  In this day and age when screens are front and center in the day-to-day life of parents, children, schools, and communities in general, the question remains.  There is a field of thought that in order to keep up with the times, it is important for children to have access to all and everything there is to offer.   There is no doubt that young children are exposed to far more electronics/screens/video games, eBooks, etc., than ever before.  Parents know the magnetic draw and look to experts for advice.  The good thing is there are many articles and suggestions to support parents setting guidelines on this topic.  Paying attention to current research and setting family limits will help navigate this challenge.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), always vocal on its guidelines for our youngest ages, has recently changed its position on its recommendations for screen time for children. The Academy understands and recognizes the challenges that parents face with screens now appearing at every turn; the constant barrage adds to the dilemma. To read about the AAP’s current position on screen time, click on the link below to read an article published in the NY Times:

A Reconsideration completely of Children and Screen Time - The New York Times

In short keep in mind:


-  Media is just another environment

-  Role modeling is critical

-  We learn from each other

-  Content matters

-  Be mindful of “Educational Apps” - do your own research

 Co-engagement with your children counts

- Playtime is important

 Set limits and follow through with them.

For further reading, Google Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time and writer for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), who gives feedback on her recent findings on how electronic media affects young children.

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