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Quality Over Quantity: The truth about screen time

It’s no secret that as our reliance on technology increases, so too do our worries about the side effects this might be having on our kids’ developing brains. Everyone knows screen time is detrimental and should be limited, right? Surely if you’re not a parental controls programming genius by now, you’re failing as a parent. Right?

Device-dependent-parents, prepare to lift some of that weight off your shoulders! Based on recent research, experts now believe, when it comes to screen time, it’s all about quality over quantity. Playing a video game on the iPad, video calling grandma on the phone, reading a classic novel on an ereader – not all screen time is created equal.

This new take on screen time use is based on a recent poll from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit dedicated to providing parents relevant and honest reviews for all things kids’ technology and entertainment. The report revealed that the average American teen spends upwards of 4-8 hours a day in front of a screen, and that doesn’t include virtual education needs.

Luckily, there’s no need to worry about that topic – for now. According to Nusheen Ameenuddin, M.D., member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, remote learning needs do not count towards what we generally refer to as ‘screen time’ In this case, technology’s benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Turns out, some of that extra screen time is positive, too, such as using technology to socialize and connect during a time where that may not be possible in person. As with most things, it’s all about balance. Key takeaways from the Common Sense Media report suggest using communication over parental controls. Talk with your kids about how they use their screen time, and how often. Teach them how to balance their tech time, how to prioritize healthy habits such as physical activity and sufficient sleep. Using the 1Question app is a great way to get the conversation started. With its streamlined, built-in method of increasing quality screen time, 1Question allows you to co-own the responsibility of parental controls with your child. It’s the perfect way to decide on screen time controls together.

As a parent, it is ultimately you who knows what is best for your child. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone! Check out more from Common Sense Media for recommendations, or set the parental controls to fun with 1Question and break up screen time with quick, curriculum-based questions added right into your kid’s favorite apps! Maybe not all screen time is created equal, but we can absolutely tip the scales to positive!

Mills, M. (2021). Screen Time Experts Say Quality Matters More Than Quantity—Especially in a Pandemic. Parents.com.
Article based on Common Sense Media report and related CNN interview.


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