If you havn't seen or heard, the AAP revised their guidelines for media and screen time last Fall and you can find the updated findings here:
Media and Young Minds Policy Statement
Media in School Age Children and Adolescents Policy Statement
The gist of their guidelines is that starting at 18 months of age, there CAN be some educational benefits, but families should make a Family Media Plan and talk about it with their children. They suggest :
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
We consider anything with a screen, screen time. Makes sense, huh? So computers, tv, wii, and tablets are what we have available in our home.
For the record, all of our kids watched Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Thomas the Train before they were 18 months. All of them. And, the Praise Baby DVDs helped me make it through the infant years. But Kyle and I have always been careful about is content and length of time. We do not even to have our TV shows on during the day when they can see them, even when they were infants. We were never comfortable with the idea that we didn't know what they could remember or might dream about when they slept.