Determine the right digital diet for your family these tips.
It’s a common question facing today’s parent: With so many technology tools available to kids, including tablets, smartphones, PCs, connected TVs, portable media players and gaming devices, when should children be required to step away from the screen?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides these simple guidelines:
However, as both the parent of a young child and as part of my role as Sears tech toy expert, I’ve quickly discovered that such simplified solutions can be hard to implement. I realize that for parents of Generation Tech—the children for whom connected and high-tech devices are second-nature—it’s not always easy to separate the sprout from the screen. Nor, ironically, is it always beneficial to do so: Surrounded by high-tech toys and tools at every turn, a growing number of solutions naturally offer increasing educational, social and practical health benefits.
When pondering screen time rules for your family, understand that no one figure fits every family or child, nor does anyone else reserve the right to decide what’s appropriate for your household. As a child, I myself whiled away many a long afternoon happily exploring cyberspace, or enmeshed in the confines of a popular video game—a practice many of today’s parents would still frown on. However, most responsible adults can agree that, as with any form of media consumption, screen time should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy, well-balanced digital diet.
To this extent, the following tips may help you restore harmony to a household quickly being overrun by HDTVs and portable LCDs:
That said, while there’s no hard and fast rule that applies to every family regarding the appropriate amount of screen time that children should enjoy, the above guidelines should help when introducing and regulating the use of high-tech devices. We invite you to experiment as needed, and share your family’s learning—it’s always a pleasure to hear how modern households are teaching kids to be responsible digital citizens.