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Screen time is a popular topic in homes across America, especially during summer months when there’s plenty of idle time. However, if not approached properly, screen time can rob children of valuable learning experiences and lead to many negative outcomes relating to sleep, behavior, attention, academic performance, socialization and language development.
This week, Miss Cherie received two questions from readers about screen time. In 2012, NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College collaboratively released a position statement addressing all facets of this complex topic.
Within Early Childhood Education circles, and according to the joint report, there’s a consistent belief that children younger than age two shouldn’t have any screen time, with minimal exceptions, and only when the screen time enriches the relationship between the child and adult caregiver (i.e., FaceTime with a family member or friend).
At this stage of life, infants and toddlers benefit most from responsive interactions with adults for cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and linguistic development. If opting to engage in technology with a young child, it should be a guided interaction and should include conversation throughout the experience.
For example, rather than simply giving your child an iPad or phone to flip through photos, talk to your baby about what they’re seeing, as this strengthens your bond and develops language. Don’t be afraid of screen time but do engage with your child when you interact with a screen as opposed to allowing passive engagement.
For children ages 2 to 8, the 2012 report recommends no more than two hours of screen time per day, and it should be with interactive media (e-books, the internet, and other media that is designed to facilitate active and creative use and encourage social engagement with other children and adults).
Age, brain development, passive vs. interactive media, parental involvement, and much more play into this complicated but very worthy conversation. Kids Camp encourages our readers to peruse this statement for a first-hand look at reliable research to help guide screen time decisions that make the most sense for their family.
Each week Chambanamoms.com and Logic Kids Camp come together to provide answers on parenting questions (submitted by you, our readers). During our video we explored this topic of screen time, but wanted to add more resources for families. Do you have any tips for limiting screen time?
Don’t forget to submit your question for ‘Ask Miss Cherie’. With every entry you will be entered to win a free hour of childcare at Lodgic Kids Camp.