Screens are everywhere. They're part of our daily lives, they're in schools, parents oftentimes have multiple devices that they use at home, and even in the pediatrician's office there's a screen that your child's doctor uses to document information. This can be confusing for parents to think about how best to set rules in their home and message to their children about using a screen. The AAP recommends discouraging any screen time for children under the age of 2 and limiting it for children who are older than the age of 2.
So how do you manage screen time for your child? One of the most important things to do is model appropriate screen time, so limit your own screen time and make sure that you have tech-free and screen-free times and locations in your home that you show your child. In addition, passive screen time tends to not be stimulating for development, as opposed to active screen time. What do I mean by passive? Programs that play or talk to your children that continue regardless of whether your child does a specific activity are more likely to be passive, even if they are supposed to be learning-based. Interactive activities that require your child to do something in particular and then get feedback about the activity they've done are more interactive and more stimulating.
An example of a great interactive tool are video chats. When family members live far away and it's not possible to see them often, a video chat with a grandparent is a great way to maintain a strong emotional bond with that grandparent in spite of distance.