Hooray! Screen Time for Kids Is (Mostly) Fine, Say Pediatricians

Don’t beat yourself up too much: There are plenty of parenting moments when busting out the iPad (in limited doses) really is the only option. Here, three circumstances when experts agree that a little bit of screen time is A-OK.

7 Times It’s OK to Break Your Own Parenting Rules

kids together screen time

You’re All Watching Elmo Together

Together is the operative word here. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s fine to cue up high-quality educational programming—like Sesame Street—as long as you’re watching it as a family and make yourself available to answer any questions that come up as you view. (Hey, if you were three, you might want an explanation of Elmo’s World, too.) To be clear, we’re not saying you should binge watch a full season with your toddler, but calling up an episode when you need a minute to chill beside your child on the couch is fine.

toddler on facetime screen time

You’re Facetiming With Grandma

Yep, even the AAP agrees that the benefits of chatting and maintaining visual relationships with relatives who live 3,000 miles away far outweigh the potential issues of exposing kids too early to smartphones (according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction).

toddler on iphone screen time

You’re Watching “daniel Tiger” (seriously)

In case you've been living under a rock, he's the animated—and furry—descendent of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, and researchers at Texas Tech University found that children who watched 10 episodes over a two-week period exhibited higher levels of empathy, confidence and the ability to recognize emotions. (FYI, parent accompaniment while watching still required.)

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Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
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