How much screen time is too much? That’s the essence of a question one parent sent in to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Mediatrician, Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the hospital’s Center on Media and Child Health, about the hours upon hours her preteen daughter spends on the computer playing Minecraft.
Rich notes that as screens have become ever present in society, the pediatric establishment’s view on screen time has evolved:
As technologies continue to develop and screen media become more and more prevalent in all of our lives, experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are moving away from the concept of screen time limits for children.
Before offering advice on how to talk to her daughter about her Minecraft time, Rich adds that families need to view a child’s on- and offline activities in the context of her age and developmental needs:
Remember, your daughter is at a stage in life where one of her key developmental tasks is how to prioritize activities and manage her time. Her academic and social demands are increasing and she is moving out of the nuclear family unit to a much larger universe of peers and the public. Minecraft is just one of many activities she will need to prioritize, put into perspective and ultimately regulate in terms of her time and attention. Ironically, time management and getting enough rest is essential to success within the game of Minecraft.