The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently introduced new guidelines for children’s screen time. At a glance, they don’t seem all that different from the guidelines issued around this time last year. The October 2015 report made waves because it revealed a complete attitude shift; the previously strict AAP acknowledged that setting screen time limits requires a bit more nuance. These days “’screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time’,” the organization conceded, but its recommendations were still vague.
The newest (2016) AAP screen time rules are more realistic, and offer a lot more guidance for parents like you who wonder what exactly quality screen time means for kids under two years old, and how much is too much for your tech-loving (and tech-needing) teens.
Like the AAP, the team at LW4K acknowledges that not all screen time is the same. Kids don’t only use screens to have fun (we call this digital play), they also use technology to do homework and engage socially (that includes family). We think it’s important for parents to focus on setting limits on and getting involved in digital playtime, and have long adhered to a model that we call a “Play Diet,” which makes room for unstructured, active, creative, and social play in addition to digital play. We’ve compiled a one-page quick reference guide to setting limits on how much digital playtime your children get, broken down by age, to help you better understand the different types of screen time and set reasonable digital playtime limits for your children.
Featured image: Flickr user kelly taylor