Good use of screens
Television, computers, smartphones and videogames have invaded our children's lives. Often at the expense of other games or creative activities more appropriate for their age. Acquisitions and learning suffer. Deficiencies are increasingly observed in various fields : personal relationships, physical abilities, health (often excess weight), reading, verbal or written expression, school results.
More specifically, depiction of violence and hatred can deeply trouble and destabilize immature minds, blurring rules and landmarks, weakening respect for others, impairing safety, and paving the way for aggressive, antisocial or dangerous behaviour.
It is therefore essential, in order to ensure a balanced approach, to set limits, supervise, accompany, provide support. Screens must not be allowed to overwhelm a child's or adolescent physical and mental world, at a critical time of his/her education, body growth and cultural formation
Professionals who have studied this problem are worried. A number of recommendations have been made. A detailed approach has been proposed by French psychiatrist Serge Tisseron, with several articles available on the AFPA website (association française de pédiatrie ambulatoire), including one describing the so called 3-6-9-12 rule, summarized as follows :
Advice n°1 : no TV before 3 years, with proper judgment after 3.
Advice n°2 : no electronic game before 6 years, to protect and boost creativity.
Advice n°3 : no Internet without close supervision before 9 years to protect the child.
Advice n°4 : Internet alone after 12, with caution
The American Academy of Pediatrics is also very aware of the problem and has published some statements, including an article spelling out recommendations about media use before 2 years of age.
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