Think back to your early years, when you were about pre-school age. What did you do all day? Safe bet it involved playing in the yard, getting scraped knees and trekking mud through the house. In the past ten years, though, this has changed dramatically. Children have gone from making mud pies to taking selfies. How, as a parent, should you manage screen time? We’ve looked around the web to find some answers.
Healthy screen time and quality media choices: 2-5 years by Raising Children
Raising Children points out that screens play an important role in children’s education and it’s impossible to avoid them completely. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises no more than an hour of screen time per day but many children exceed this limit.
This page (and others for the appropriate age group) has advice on what apps and programs you should expose your child to, as well as time management.
The Right Dose of Screen Time for Kids by Psychology Today
Vanessa LoBue, PhD writes this short yet informative article that points out the pros and cons of the iPad. Screens have an effect on everyone around the child, not just the child themselves. It can nip an argument between siblings in the bud during the car ride home, but it can’t be a replacement for your son or daughter spending time with friends. Screen time is increasing, yet it can’t be a substitute for fulfilling, real-world interaction.
Digital Guidelines: Promoting Healthy Technology Use for Children by the American Psychology Association
The American Psychological Association aims to educate parents about technology and its effects on their children in this piece. It points out what type of screen use is appropriate for each age group (e.g. 1 ½ to 2 years old can watch ‘high-quality programs’ with their parents).
The Association uses the bulk of the page to help parents set out guidelines on using tech and watching screens at home. This is helpful if you’re trying to decide what ‘rules’ to set up around screen use for your own family.
20 Android and iOS apps for kids to keep them entertained (and quiet) by Digital Trends
Digital Trends has a range of free and paid apps that are age appropriate and easy to monitor. Genres include games, art, movies, and education. With 20 on the list, you’re bound to find one or five you like for the iPad.