Digital Nanny – How Much Screen Time is Best for Our Kids?

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– Biloxi, Miss.

Parenting is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs around.

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We all wonder how we’re doing at raising our kids and about the eventual outcome of these countless daily choices we’re making.

Parents: The good news is we have an abundance of information available to guide us – just a mouse click away – and we’re all in this together!

To that end, WXXV News 25 is proud to present our new blog addressing a whole spectrum of topics facing parents today.


Related Article: Mom to Mom: Homework Tips

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There’s always been a noticeable generational gap to mend between parents and children, but it seems the gap is widening with the increasing technological presence.

Learning to navigate and balance raising our kids along with everything else we have going on – careers, responsibilities, relationships, goals and the endless to-do lists – is not for the faint of heart.

But, attempting to make the most of these daily challenges we’re faced with is a worthwhile cause – with each obstacle we face head-on, we’re building our foundations of strength and resilience.

Many of us had childhoods in the ‘80s and’90s –pre-social media, pre-cellphones. And our experience of childhood honestly couldn’t contrast more from our kids’ modern digitized realities.

Kids today truly are experiencing an unprecedented childhood unlike any generations before them.

We used encyclopedias, not Google. We rode our bikes and played outside nearly all day long. We called our friends on their family’s landline.

If you’re in your thirties to early forties, you probably made it all the way through high school before ever owning your first cellphone.

And when you did finally get one in college/early adulthood, you were limited to text messages and a majority of your phone calls had to be placed at night or on weekends when they were ‘free.’

On the contrary, my preschoolers both have screen time on IPads and regularly pull up FaceTime and YouTube without assistance. (Though they’re, of course, monitored throughout for safety purposes).

Hold tight… let’s let this awareness sink in for a moment.

When we take a step back to think it through, the vast difference between our childhood and that of our kids is quite remarkable.

The fact is… it’s a rapidly evolving digital world we’re living in now and it is here to stay.

Now that we see some of the challenges we’re facing, we can access available resources to get better educated on the recommended amount of screen time our little ones and teens should have.

The American Pediatric Association has suggested these guidelines for screen use by children and adolescents:

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

Source: AAP.org

Be sure to catch all the latest parenting tips on our Mom to Mom news segment with fellow Mom/Host Sarah Pannel each week here on WXXV News 25 and on our Local Moms Blog here at WXXV25.com.
Meaghan Chapman