health

10 reasons screen time for our kids is essential.

Break out the champagne. It’s time to celebrate because any research that let’s parents off the never-ending guilt cycle is research worth sharing.

You know all those times you put your little one in front of Peppa Pig and raced off to fold the laundry consumed with guilt that you were harming her forever more?

Well guilt be banished.

Remember all those looks you tried to ignore as your snotty, sniveling toddler played Monkey Lunch box on your phone while you walked around Target?

Well guilt trip yourself no more.

It turns out all those years of anguish about the fact my now eight-year old learnt his colours, numbers AND alphabet from ABC Kids was wasted.

(Even if he does say “zee” rather than zed.)

It's okay. She'll be okay.

Because screen time is actually not that bad for our kids.

Huh??

You wanna read that line again because I do.

Real proper experts have shown that the big elephant in the corner of each and every room and in the handbag of each and every mum is not so bad after all.

How about that?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised their guidelines for screen time in order to keep up with the times.

One of the leading bodies on childhood health has changed their recommendations for screen time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised their guidelines for screen time in order to keep up with the times.

In 2011 and 2013 the AAP issued policy statements discouraging any "screen time" for children under two years old and suggested that children over two should be limited to less than two hours of screen time per day. The Australian Health Department guidelines are similar recommending children over two years spend fewer than two hours looking at screens daily, and children under two have no screen time.

(We all stuck to that didn't we?)

But a new policy, partly released last week, is vastly different, this time the AAP, instead of setting new time limits on media use, has pointed out for the first time that "the quality of content is more important than the platform or time spent with media."

Giving a preview of the new recommendations in the October issue of AAP News the academy announced some significant shifts in their thinking. In fact, they admit that the very term "screen time" is becoming outdated, writing that "in a world where "screen time" is becoming simply "time," our policies must evolve or become obsolete."

The guidelines are welcome news for parents who find that technology dominates all areas of life from homework to play and it’s a huge relief for the massive guilt trip that is “GUIDELINES”.

It is now time for the Australian "experts" to catch up.

Can unlimited screen time ever work? Watch the experiment I did on my kids. ( Post continues after video)

Video via Shauna Anderson
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Aside from the fact screens are a part of the future, that there is no avoiding them, that technology is moving forward – not back to 1950 there are other reasons screentime is essential.

1. So we can pee in private.

And isn’t that just heaven when it happens.

2. To stop our children tearing each other’s limbs offs in an all out brawl over who gets the blue Play Dough and who gets the purple.

To stop our children tearing each other’s limbs offs.

And god help any child who mixes colours.

3. So we can take a work phone call without that little voice on repeat in the background.

Mummy who are you talking to? Mummy who are you talking to? Mummy who are you talking to?

4. Because there are only so many nights in a row they can have googy-eggs and soldiers for dinner.

We gotta cook sometimes.

5. It’s educational.

Where else is your child going to learn about infectious disease control? Doc McStuffins. That’s where.

6. And besides doesn’t a story on Play School count as one of those five books a day we are meant to be reading them?

Whhhattt? Don’t judge.

7. Because sometime, just sometimes in a restaurant you just want to have an adult conversation.

Or at least actually enjoy a meal for once that shovelled down between barking out instructions don't-poke-your-sister, sit-on-your-seat, stop-running-around.

Ah, just give 'em the phone.

8. Because standing in a line at the bank, the post office or centrelink isn’t fun for anyone

And if it holds off that over-tired tantrum till you are at home and better equipped to deal with it then may Dora’s Colouring-in App be our friend.

9. Because our kids are growing up in a screen dominated world.

Because our kids are growing up in a screen dominated world.

There is no point in hiding from what’s in front of their faces.

10. And because us parents just sometimes need a break.

So if it’s a digital babysitter for half an hour, an hour or two hours along as you drag them away from those screens long enough for some exercise, a book with actual words in it and a whole heap of cuddles who the hell are we to judge what another parent does...

You with me?

Do you restrict screen time? Will this new change in recommendations change your way of thinking?