This is a question that has caused some debate from educators and parents worldwide. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that excessive media use can contribute to health risks, including obesity, aggression and lack of sleep in children. They advise that children under the age of two have no screen time and only 1 to 2 hours a day for older children. They state if you are going to allow screen time to limit the time and be selective with what your children are viewing. The research is inconclusive about any positives of screen development. The hands-on child to parent or caregiver to child interactions have proven to add much greater value.
Studies have proven that programming with quality and pro-social messages add value for kids. Babies having screen time should be looking at games or programs that are age-appropriate, with non-jarring sounds and bright stimulating colors. Children should not watch T.V. in preschool! Preschool should be a social lesson every day where interacting with other children is the most important interaction.
Set limits with your children on how much time they are watching television or interacting with computer games or phones. For older children, it’s recommended to not allow computers or televisions in their bedrooms. By not allowing the screens in their bedrooms, you can keep a closer eye on how much time they are spending looking at screens.
All childhood studies have proven the best interaction for children is talking, interacting, playing and exposing them to the world. While there are some good educational sources of screen time for children, the best time, of course, is time with you!