American Academy of Pediatrics may be behind the times

Children and Media: Pediatricians’ Monolith Myth. The Huffington Post, October 20, 2011.

AAP logo

A thought-provoking article about the recently updated official position of the American Academy of Pediatrics on children and the media. As the author points out, the AAP remains in the position of actively recommending no television viewing for kids under age 2 even though most of these kids are already watching a lot of TV. So the position of the AAP seems out of touch with reality.

Also, as the author points out, the media gadgets available to kids has expanded exponentially, but the AAP does not take on this issue in any thorough-going way. So the author is much disappointed. He posits that the AAP is involved in black and white thinking and is not moving forward with the times.

I’m of two minds on this issue. On the one hand, sticking with the position that parents must be reminded that active play is in many, many ways much healthier for kids than media engagement. On the other, media viewing, especially with the advent of social media, has greatly changed the landscape of the American family and needs to be actively addressed.

But I also do have grave concerns about parental use of media gadgets as a way of entertaining kids before the age of two simply because the parents need a cheap baby sitter.