Parenting Technology

Should parents limit their screen time?

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

While many worry that their children spend too much screen time, what about the parents?

One MP is warning parents how their screen time affects their children’s education.

What has the government said?

Education Secretary Damien Hinds recently let his feelings known about parents’ screen time. “While we think about screen time limits for children, we find it harder to limit it for ourselves,’” he stated. “One-to-one time without gadgets getting in the way is so valuable. The pressures of work and the modern world mean putting phones away is far from easy, but it’s an important area to talk about, particularly as we consider ways to support parents with children’s learning at home. This doesn’t mean technology is the villain of the piece – indeed, if used well it can actively support learning. Technology is something we must harness to use in our mission to improve communication skills, not something that gets in the way.”

What does the research show about it?

A study by JAMA Pediatrics suggested limits for parents’ screen time. That was those absorbed distracted by their mobile devices had less interaction with their kids. This contributed to more conflict with their children. This encouraged more difficult behaviours in their children as time went on. The study also showed how children learn habits form their parents. Therefore, parents show by example how to enjoy time away from their mobile devices.

What is the government doing about it?

Mr Hinds is holding a summit with various businesses and technology groups. The aim is help parents discover new ways to help their child with early learning in the home. It’s in line with the government’s mission to improve British children’s basic communication skills. Organisations such as Save the Children and the National Literacy Trust are also working alongside the government. They are suggesting different activities for families to engage in, including enjoying songs and poems together.