Screens: the new parenting conundrum.
Are they good? Are they bad?
How old should kids be before they use one?
How long should they be allowed to use it for?
Like most things, and since screens clearly are only going to become more and more incorporated in everyday life, moderation seems to be the key.
The American Association of Pediatrics suggests no more than 2 hours of screen time daily for kids between and 2 and 18, while the current national average is over 4 hours per day. However, you also need to consider that screen time data is fairly new, so the studies are still very much ongoing.
Now, as helpful as that suggestion may be, it doesn't really get to the questions that worry some people.
Where are we headed? Is this the new normal?
Justin Worsham of The Dad Podcast has some thoughts on that.
"My belief is that we are at the end of a pendulum swing. That with the introduction of computers in our kids' education, and that increasing their screen time, you will see more parents in the next 5-10 years going camping or walking with their kids. Homework will be on the decline as parents push back for time to unplug. There will also be an increase in kids attending summer camps or something like that. "
However, that doesn't mean screens are leaving.
"The fact remains that the future will involve computers and screens. And that this is just the Rock N Roll of today. Where parents believe that this new thing they don't understand that isn't directly connected to their childhood is bad for their kids. Every generation of parent has the, 'When I Was Your Age...' moment, and history has shown that when things change, we are naturally afraid at first."
To hear more of Justin's take on screen time, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Matt Coyne, the author of Man vs Baby, about his book, the differences between British and American parents, and the similarities between Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Teletubbies.