The Point

The Point: Families and Screens

02/28/18

John Stonestreet

Train up a child in the way he should go . . . even online.

Left to their own devices, metaphorically and literally, children can end up on screens for hours. We want to limit screen time, but how much is acceptable, and how do we do it without igniting World War III with our kids?

According to Texas Tech researcher Eric Rasmussen, “Parents are the biggest influence on kids in how they respond to media.” More important than rules, he says, is talking to children about the media they use.

Parent and NPR reporter Anya Kamenetz points out that parents “also play a role in sharing the joy of screens with our kids. We can model the use of technology for creation, discovery and connection. We can help kids interpret the media that they do use, when we experience it with them.”

Kamenetz’s rule of thumb for families is a good one: “Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly together.”

And for a helpful guide on how, see the book Screens and Teens by Kathy Koch.

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