Entertainment screen time for kids….we need to limit it!
The American Academy of Pediatrics published a new policy this week regarding screen time for older children. We know that children under 2 should have little or no screen time. The AAP said that Children from 2 to 18 should have no more than 2 hours of “entertainment” screen time a day. A recent study showed that children from age 8 to 18 spend about 8 HOURS A DAY engaged with Facebook, YouTube, texting, Instagram, and the internet. Kids age 12 to 18 spend more time on their phones than in school, and have access to the internet and other social media without any parent guidelines. Times are changing, but this amount of screen time decreases activity, may cause sleep disturbances (kids are bringing phones to bed resulting in late night texting and surfing of the internet), increases the likelihood of young kids and teens being exposed to pornography, increases exposure to violence, decreases face to face conversations and connectivity, and may increase bullying. A recent quote from a 16-year-old said that limiting his screen time use would be “catastrophic” to his life…. I “ruined” my kids’ lives many times when I set limits during those years between 12 and 18. Slowly in their 20’s, they are now appreciating those limits….that is our job parents; to make the hard choices and set the limits that our children are not mature enough to do yet. Parenting is tough, it takes hard work and backbone. Learn to set limits and ignore the eye rolling!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.