For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised that children and adolescents spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen and that infants under the age of two spend no time in front of a screen at all. In recent years, however, they have revised their policies to better reflect the reality of today's digital environment.
Because technology has become so interwoven into our everyday lives, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines recognizes that it would be virtually difficult to enforce a rigid two-hour per day restriction on school-age children.
Aside from that, technology may be a very useful tool in the learning process. Children have access to computers and iPads in school, and they utilize computers to complete their homework assignments and assignments.
Some children, on the other hand, are becoming more reliant on their electronic gadgets. They are more reliant on computer games and television as their primary sources of amusement, and text messaging and social media are increasingly replacing face-to-face contact. Read more about reducing screen time in this article.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' new recommendations is focused on establishing healthy standards that will prevent children from using their gadgets in a harmful way.
What Makes the New Screen Time Guidelines Different from the Older Guidelines
Previous guidelines included specific suggestions for the number of times children should be permitted to spend in front of a screen. The most recent revisions to the guidelines take a more flexible approach.
In general, parents are urged to allow their children to use digital devices in moderation, but there is no set guideline for the number of hours that children should be permitted to use digital devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics has the following to say regarding screen time:
- The media has both advantages and disadvantages. Technology, like anything else, has its advantages and disadvantages. In addition to benefiting from instructional information, children may be exposed to improper pictures, harmful advertising, and violent material. Prevent your child's media usage from becoming a negative experience by taking the necessary measures.
- It is critical to provide positive role modeling. Because your kid is likely to imitate your media habits, it is critical that you serve as a positive role model. Read literature, participate in physical exercise, and spend time in nature are all recommended. Set reasonable boundaries on your personal usage of technological devices.
- Technology should be governed by regulations for children. Establish ground rules for your child's visitation to websites, the games he plays, and the movies he watches, among other things. Maintain control over your child's access to social media platforms until he or she is old enough to bear the responsibility.
- Engage with the technology that your kid uses. Participate in your child's digital environment by learning about it. Learn how to play the games that your kid likes and go on an exploration of the Internet with him or her. Look for things that are both good and enjoyable that you can perform with your devices.
- Make a block of time when you won't be interrupted by technology. Turn off your electronic devices at certain times of the day or on specific days of the week to save energy. It is critical for children to have time to participate in activities that do not need them to use their digital gadgets. Even a little period of digital detoxification may have a positive impact on your child's behavior and mental wellbeing.
- Set appropriate boundaries on the amount of time spent in front of a screen. The majority of children are unable to cope with unrestricted access to their technological devices. Set time restrictions on-screen usage for your kid in order to keep him or her physically and intellectually healthy. Don't allow your kid to spend the whole Saturday in front of the television, nor should you allow him to stay up all night playing video games.
- Make errors in the media into teaching opportunities. Keep an eye on your child's activities and be prepared for him or her to make errors from time to time. Whether your kid visits an unsuitable website or exceeds the data limit on his smartphone, turn these missteps into teaching opportunities so that he can do better the next time around.
- It is OK for teenagers to be on the internet. The use of social media is a significant aspect of most teenagers' life. Allow your adolescent to spend time interacting with other people while on the internet. In your teen's future profession, it's probable that internet communication will play an even more important role than it does now.
Instructions on how to implement screen time should kids have
According to the new recommendations, parents do not need to impose tight time restrictions on their children's use of digital devices. Instead, you should encourage them to use them responsibly. However, you should take a step back and consider the broader picture, as well as the function electronics, play in everyone's life.
Consider the patterns of behavior that your family has developed. Do you like to watch television as you eat dinner? Do you ever find yourself staring at your phones when at a restaurant or at a sports event?
Examine the media habits of your children, as well. Do they watch television before going to bed? Whenever you're in the vehicle, do they have their gadgets in their hands?
Some new rules for the whole family, such as "no electronics while we're having supper" or "no electronics on Saturdays," may be appropriate. It is these kinds of regulations that may assist to guarantee that everyone has a more positive connection with their technological gadgets.
Special Considerations should be taken into account
For children less than 18 months, the use of screen media (other than video chatting) should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, parents of children between the ages of 18 and 24 months who want to introduce digital media to their children should select high-quality programs or applications and utilize them with their children since this is the most effective way for toddlers to learn. Allowing youngsters to utilize media on their own should be avoided at all costs.
Media restrictions are very suitable for youngsters older than 2 years of age. Screen time should be limited to no more than one hour or less each day of high-quality programs. Consider co-viewing or co-playing with your children, as well as engaging in other activities that are beneficial to both the body and the mind, such as reading aloud, playing together, or going outdoors.