Motherly Life Notes

  • Deeper research is providing a better understanding of the risks and potential benefits of the use of tablets, phones, and other digital devices. Psychologists and others are focusing more on the type of content kids consume as well as other factors such as parenting and socioeconomic status. The primary risks studied are physical and mental health issues. Key benefits are focused on the use of digital devices as teaching tools.

  • Studies suggest there are minimal benefits for the youngest children who do not learn well from screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children younger than 24 months.

  • Older kids can learn meaningful information from the content delivered by digital devices. However, studies show that elementary and middle school aged kids who exceed screen time recommendations scored lower on cognitive assessments. Too much screen time impacts sleep and increases impulsivity in this age group.

  • Be mindful about the media, content, and time spent on these devices. Parents should be present, understand and discuss with their children what content they are consuming. It’s important for kids to learn how to develop self-control and be able to self-regulate their screen usage.

Source

What Do We Really Know About Kids And Screens?

Recommended Reading

Buy a Copy

Screen Time: How Electronic Media - From Baby Videos to Educational Software - Affects Your Young Child

Lisa Guernsey

Lisa Guernsey researched the effects of television and other media on young children. Her conclusion is unlike the typical oft-cited advice and mandates from American Association of Pediatricians. Rather than broad general recommendations, she concludes that parents should focus on content, context and the individual child.

Buy a Copy
Buy a Copy

Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens

L. Guernsey and M. Levine

This book is centered around promoting adult-child interactions that help kids grow into strong readers. It helps parents learn how to use digital media to build a foundation for reading success.

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Learn How to Create a Media Plan for Your Kids

Motherly Life Notes

Excessive use of media is associated with lack of sleep, weight issues, academic learning loss, and behavioral issues. The objective of a family media use plan is to help children balance their time between online and offline activities.

Tips for families:

  • Limit digital entertainment time to less than 2 hours daily.
  • Content matters and it’s important to choose media programs that deliver a good moral example for kids.
  • Be present when children are watching programs on a device. Discuss the programs and how it connects or disconnects with your family values.
  • Actively teach children the difference between appropriate and inappropriate usage of texting or posting content online.
  • Keep screens out of the bedrooms and away from mealtime.

Source

How to Make a Family Media Use Plan

Additional Information

  • Report finds that excessive screen time affects children’s cognitive and social development, leads to poorer performance on tests, and is connected with behavioral issues. Excessive screen time seems to precede these developmental difficulties.
  • Create a family media plan. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers an interactive tool to help parents understand the amount of time children spend on daily activities, including sleeping, eating, physical activity, and digital screens.
  • Kids & Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age