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Mindful Screen Time for Toddlers?

Mindful Screen Time for Toddlers?

There’s an interesting article in Slate (with links to studies) about research on screen time for young kids. It says,

It’s a question always sparking hot debate in parenting circles: Do you let your babies and toddlers use screens? For years, the health and child development establishment has been advising parents to avoid exposing their toddlers and babies to screen media. But daily life increasingly includes video, smartphones, and touchscreen tablets. Questions have been flying: Is staying away really the best approach? Last month, however, a new message broke through—part of a wave of new pronouncements rooted in science that could make way for new approaches and push “screen time” to be much more than an electronic babysitter. The guide released last month by Zero to Three, a nonprofit organization focused on infants and toddlers, is the latest and most powerful example of a shift in the landscape. The guide, Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight, is an objective account of the research, summarizing the implications via “both-and” statements such as “children should have lots of time for play in the real, 3-D world,” and parents should “make screen use a shared experience.”

So whether you have been saying “But the AAP says…!” or “Look around the real world! Kids use screens all the time!” or maybe never really thought about it, you should read this article. As the article in Slate says,

This shift in advice does not give parents a pass. Nor is it about making life easier for us. Let’s face it: Raising children turns our hair gray no matter what. But at least it moves us from a “no screen time” recommendation that few parents abide toward “mindful screen time” in today’s media-manic world.

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