Make screen time family time

It’s time to make screen time family time

Today’s children have access to multiple screens — from television and tablets to laptops and smartphones — causing parents to wonder if they may be spending too much time with media.

New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) include good news for parents on children’s TV time, placing greater emphasis on the quality of the media kids interact with, rather than the quantity, and pointing to PBS KIDS as a leading resource for educational programming. The new guidelines also encourage parents to watch TV with their children and talk about it together.

The AAP’s recommendations confirm the approach that PBS KIDS and Arizona PBS have pioneered for decades — that when media is developed responsibly and thoughtfully, it can make a big impact on children’s education, and that when parents are engaged, kids learn even more. It’s this “secret sauce” of combining high-quality media with parent-child interaction that we believe can unlock every child’s learning potential.

While PBS KIDS plays an important role in providing quality media content, the crucial component is collaborative learning — parents talking to their children about what they’re watching, what they’re playing and how they’re learning. By interacting with media alongside them, parents can see what their children are passionate about and interested in, which in turn allows for deeper engagement, and opportunities to inspire learning experiences for their kids.

We know that this approach works. In fact, we have the research to prove it. A recent study conducted by Texas Tech University found that PBS KIDS’ series “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” helped kids learn important social skills like empathy, recognizing emotions and social confidence, with the key to this learning being parental involvement. When parents talked with their children about the shows they watched, the learning outcomes were greater.

A family watches Arizona PBS KIDS.

Given the many benefits of co-viewing and co-playing with your kids, there is no better time to make screen time family time. PBS KIDS’ high-quality, proven content is now available 24/7 on Arizona PBS KIDS, making it easier than ever before for families to watch and explore together.

The free services include a 24-hour TV channel and a livestream on digital platforms. This channel, introduced in January 2017, is especially important for young children living in low-income households, who are more likely to rely on TV for educational content, and to be under-connected, with mobile-only access and inconsistent connectivity to the internet. The free 24/7 PBS KIDS TV channel on Arizona PBS helps to level the playing field — making our educational content available to more Arizona and Valley of the Sun area families than ever before, giving parents more free opportunities to engage with their kids and media and helping our children reach their full potential.

We’re now able to deliver on our mission in an even more impactful way — providing Arizona and Valley of the Sun area families with 24/7 access to enriching, quality TV content, and more opportunities for families to watch and play together — anytime and anywhere.

For more information see:

Texas Tech Today: Watching Right TV Shows Can Help Kids Develop Social Skills

PBS Parents: What Parents Should Know About the New Media Guidelines for Kids

AAP News & Journals: Media and Young Minds

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