The Science Is In: Screen Time for Your Kids Really Isn’t That Bad

Updated: May 13, 2021

Stop feeling guilty of letting your little one play with your iPad.

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Playing endless games of hide and seek with your toddler can get tiring very quickly. And sometimes parents need a break from pretending to not know the very obvious spot there child is hiding. Well, you no longer have to feel guilty about letting your kids plop down in front of the television for an hour or two or letting them play on an iPad, because it’s been proven, that in certain circumstances, screen time for your kids can actually be beneficial.

The key thing to remember is that unsupervised and too much screen time isn’t good for your kids, but some situations let you relax and will keep your kids entertained. One example is video chatting with family. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that maintaining strong relationships with your family members that live far away is an important part of development. Being able to visually see their face and chat with them at the same time is good for your kids, even if it’s on a screen. So let your little one sit on the couch, Facetime in grandma and grandpa, and you can go and catch up on other things around the house.

Another way to incorporate screen time in a beneficial way is to watch TV together. Turn on an educational kids show and sit next to your toddler to answer any questions that they might have. The AAP says that a few hours of television a week is fine as long as you make it a family activity and encourage your kids to ask questions about the show. One show in particular that can be extremely beneficial to watch together is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS. Researchers at Texas Tech University reported that kids who watched 10 episodes over a two-week period had higher levels of empathy and confidence, and they were able to recognize emotions better.

So don’t feel guilty for letting your kids sit inside for a little; all parents need a break. And if you want to help your child be even more successful when they grow up, try these habits of parents who have raised successful kids.