So, as parents, what do we do? I think we need to find a balance. Kids have to be able to get away from the screens to allow all parts of their brains to develop, but the screens can be used as wonderful tools to assist in other passions and helping children develop their creativity.
Someone told me a story the other day of a three year old that she works with. the three year old was not a talker. He would respond to questions or make requests using just one word. He got what he wanted and would have tantrums if it wasn't enough. He lived and died by the screen.
So, his parents took the Safety-Net route and made a drastic change that they knew would be tough for all parties at first, but that would hopefully help their child become happy and successful in the long-run... They took away his screens.
Granted, I don't think toddlers need to have access to screens all that much. They should be reading books, building with blocks and Play-Doh, being sung to, etc... These parents made a mistake (we all do), but they rectified it.
This young man had a fit! He screamed and yelled and tantrummed for four days... then, it was over. He started to play with toys. He began to ask his older brother if he wanted to play with him. And, the best part? He started to talk in full sentences. He spoke politely and used "thank you" and "please." He always had the ability to do this, but no one knew because the screens had taken over his life. He didn't need to connect with humans, so why speak?
I love this story because the parents drew a new line in the sand and stood by it, even when it got tough. Sometimes we have to go through the bad, before we can get to the good. So, if things are tough at home and you feel that screens are taking over your child's life, you may need to put your foot down and create new boundaries to ensure happiness and success for your child.