• Andree DeCastro

Guidelines for Parents and Screen Time

Parents tend to always ask me, how much time should I allow my child to play on the tablet or video game systems? There are many factors to consider for this question. The best thing about my job is that I get to work with a variety of parents and I see a variety of outcomes in many kids. What I have noticed is that some kids who consistently used the tablet at a young age tend to dislike arts and crafts, imaginative play and board games in therapy at later ages. They also seem to sometimes lack social skills and confidence in later ages as well. Most of these children tend to be unengaged, and bored easily by school and social activities, which is expected.  My main question is if a child is happy playing on their tablets a lot, then is it a bad thing? . . On the other hand some kids who never got the opportunity to have a lot of screen time at a young age actually enjoy doing things like arts and crafts, playing board games, using their imagination and having fun with materials in the therapy room. . There are so many factors to consider when it comes to screen time use. I understand that screen time is unavoidable. The APA (American Pediatric Association) actually states that babies ages 0-2 should have no screen time at all. I personally feel that is almost impossible and absurd but when I go to work, I can clearly see why they state this. My advice for parents is to limit screen time as much as possible and use screen time for educational purposes early in a child’s life.


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