If I let my kid play Pokemon Go, does it make me a bad parent?

Screen time
Faith Harper, 8, uses a tablet to search for Pokemon characters as she joins dozens of others at Oso Creek Trail in July for the “Pokemon Go Community Hunt” hosted by the Mission Viejo Library.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated its recommendations for screen time. Its advice: no screens for children under age 2 and no more than an hour per day for kids between 3 and 5. If you’re dealing with older kids, you’re pretty much on your own.

As any parent can tell you, there’s often a gap between the best practices put forth by experts and what we do in the real world, when we have about a thousand things going on at once. 

Sure, we torture ourselves with the steady stream of questions: Is it bad that my 1-year-old is swiping magazine pages like a tablet? Will letting my 3-year-old use “Hooked on Phonics” in the car cause permanent damage? What if they watch “Odd Squad” only while I’m making dinner? Does handing over my phone to let my 9-year-old chase down an Abra or Jigglypuff really make me a bad parent? 

Relax a bit. Doctors and researchers can give us guidelines. But in practice, parents are still the experts on their own family needs, said Common Sense Media CEO James P. Steyer during a panel discussion this morning about the amended guidelines. (Check out AAP’s Facebook Live discussion at 10:30 a.m. PDT about the new guidelines in policy and practice.)


So, in the interest of the community here, please share your expertise.   

Tell us in the comments below, share with us on Facebook or tweet using #ourscreentime once you can access Twitter again: 

How are you using — or not using — technology with your children? Will the updated guidelines from the pediatricians’ group influence how or how much your children engage with devices like TVs, tablets and phones? And what are your greatest fears when it comes to digital media use and your family?   


We’ll update the story as we hear from you.

Stumbling or skipping your way through parenthood? Follow me @mmaltaisla and “like” Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.


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