We are deep into Wyoming Winter and this week's frigid temps and wind chills are keeping even the hardiest of Wyoming kids inside more than usual.

For my kids, that means lots more tech time. As an ex-teacher (I taught first grade for 5 years before becoming a SAHM) I was getting a bit worried that my kids were spending too much time sitting in front of the TV or playing on the iPad so I hit the internet to do some research.

The irony of me using tech to find out if my kids are spending too much time on their devices has not escaped me...

According to this article, the average 8-12 year-old spends 6 hours per day interacting with media. Kids ages 2-5 spend around 32 hours per week (that's an average of 4.5 hours a day) in front of a screen.

Based on that, even with their extra tech time due to weather, my kids are still waaaay below the national average.

But, that's just what the average kid does, not what they SHOULD do.

So, I rolled up my sleeves and delved deeper to find out more. According to the American Acadamy of Pediatrics, these are the guidelines every parent should follow.

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.

Oppps.

Looks like my kids are for sure getting too much screen time. After all, even if all my three-year-old is watching is one Disney movie a day that almost an hour over the recommended time for her age.

Thinkstock

Lot's of other sites I looked at said that "it's complicated" because there really ARE some great educational apps and shows out there for children. They emphasized looking at the big picture.

If your kids are spending a couple hours more each day on tech during the winter but going entire days without it in the Summer you're probably okay. If you just had a new baby and are simply trying to survive, going over those time recommendations is totally acceptable!

BEWARE: Kids that pitch a fit or get upset whenever tech time is over are most likely spending TOO much time with their devices. It's time to start putting your foot down and cutting back on screen time.

So this leads me to ask you...What do YOU think?