I am in complete agreement with Etchells and his colleagues that digital environments are part of 21st-century life and as such part of the lives of children today.
As a mother of two children ages 11 and 9, I have allowed them more digital access than many of my peers. I believe that it is the content and not the screen that should be monitored. There is harmful media out there and I do not want my kids consuming that. So the rule at home is, the kids have nearly unlimited access to screen time if they are actively creating on their devices, not simply consuming media.
I monitor and limit how much time they can be on Netflix or YouTube, but I do not limit the amount of time they can be animating on flip-a-clip, reading ebooks, building games on Scratch or other such applications. They are learning, building art and developing computational thinking skills.
Until there is evidence-based research that says it’s the screen that is the issue, I won’t be limited my kids from creating in digital environments.
Etchells, P., et al. (January 6, 2017). Screen Time Guidelines should be built on evidence, not hype. The Guardian.