Screen time: How much is too much? And how much is right?

We are surrounded by screens everywhere and it is a fact of modern life that we will access the Internet via computers, mobile devices and tablets many times a day - for work, entertainment, information or research. Our children are growing up in an increasingly connected world, and they will have to learn how to navigate their usage of screens - the how, the when and the what.

Almost every parent worries about screen time: when is the right age to let your kids play on screens, how long is enough and how many times should a device be accessed. Some new research suggests that screen time in itself is not a bad thing - it is rather the quality of the content and how kids are using screens that are important.

Dr. Georgene Troseth of Vanderbilt University explains: “To me, the guilt that moms and dads feel about their child playing on their iPhone or being exposed to a little background TV is adding an unnecessary burden to parents’ lives. Shared enjoyment when parents and kids watch or play together, or seeing your child happily engaged by a well-designed app or video, is an incredible benefit of well-managed screen time. It’s an opportunity for a shared activity between parent and child.”

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