Parents, if we want our kids to spend less time on their screens, we have to clean up our own acts first!
Plenty of parents nowadays are concerned about how much screen time their kids should have every day. And rightfully so—as overexposure to digital media at an early age has been linked to cognitive problems, such as lack of focus and limited critical thinking.
However, a recent survey has found that parents themselves have a hard time regulating their own screen usage. And as most parents know, our examples matter.
The survey conducted by Common Sense Media found that most parents of teens and tweens spend more than 9 hours a day on screens every day. 80% time was spent for leisure, not work. This is basically as much time as teens spend on their devices.
"I think it tells you that [parents] are not that different than their kids"
What’s interesting is that most of these parents (78% to be exact) considered themselves positive role models when it came to technology use. This is what Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, president of Common Sense, described as the “parental paradox.”
“Parents are spending a lot of time with media themselves, yet more than half of them are worried about their kids being addicted to technology and they have a lot of concerns about what their kids are doing,” she told The Huffington Post.
This survey’s goal isn’t to shame parents, but to make them aware of the example they’re setting for their kids.
"I think it tells you that [parents] are not that different than their kids," Michael Robb, director of research for Common Sense Media, told CNN.
"It's going to be, I think, a challenge, and has been a challenge, for parents to find what the right balance is for them and for their children.”
How do we reduce our daily screen time? Read pointers on the next page.