Make Time For Screen Time
Fatherhood on Friday: The newest WHO guidelines are based on bad science, because not all screen time is created equal.
When it comes to kids and screen time, we’ve certainly highlighted many hot takes from experts on all sides of this spirited debate. The latest piece that caught our eye this week is from Jordan Shapiro, the renowned author and Brookings Global fellow who led off the Community ThreeNote at Dad 2.019. When he assesses the World Health Organization’s new guidelines for regulating your kids’ screen use, he argues that the recommendations are “based on bad science.” And we agree.
There are three main points that resonate particularly with us:
- “There’s only very weak correlative evidence linking screen time to negative outcomes.”
- “The advice overly focuses on quantity of screen time and fails to consider the content and context of use. Not all screen time is created equal.”
- “Many of our concerns around kids and technology are really about nostalgia and an unconscious fear of change. We don’t want to disrupt our most familiar conception of the childhood experience.”
This last point is the big kahuna. When we’re faced with a nettlesome parenting choice, we instinctively revert to our own experience as kids, without enough acknowledgment of how irrelevant it is, given the vastly different parameters we have to work with.
The science on the long-term effects of screen time is incomplete and in dispute, but we can see the merits of limitations, simply for the sakes of social interaction, and physical exercise, and standard brain development without the constant bombardment of flashy thingies.
The bottom line for us, however, is that adhering to some sort of boilerplate schedule is the easy way out. Kids need digital mentorship, not censorship. And keeping in touch with the media our kids consume, as well as learning the impact of how they consume it, is one of the greatest opportunities we have to get into their heads and look around, and “engage in digital play together.”
IN THE NEWS
According to a global study, 60% of parents felt like they were failing during their baby’s first year.
A school in Texas has introduced a new dress code … for parents.
Has parenting changed the way you consume (or the ability to enjoy) certain genres of entertainment and pop culture?
“I am arming him with words for beauty and diplomacy and intelligent conversation; compassion to help others; and the skills to know how to stop someone from hurting himself or others, when all else fails.”
“ Parenting is hard, but it gets worse if you’re only looking for the bad instead of embracing the little joys afforded each day.”
“We whispered to each other this was just practice. But I choked up at the end, realizing how important it was.”
Hanging out at the mall is making a comeback, thanks to Gen Z. Are your kids mall rats?
Parents, how are your kids with critical thinking?
What can you do when your child is bullied at school?
- “When I became an at-home parent, it felt like I had a million dollars in the bank. So I spent it freely. I cashed it in for memories, over and over again.” — Shannon Carpenter; At-Home Parent Promise Kept, Struggle To Let Them Go Begins
- “Whereas praise is evaluative in nature, placing the focus squarely on the outcome, encouragement is literally about “giving courage” and focuses on the process.” — Michael Kwan; Praise vs. Encouragement: Yes, There Is a Difference
- “I no longer tie my identity to my career, and it’s allowed me to break free from making decisions that only benefit a toxic patriarchal fantasy as opposed to doing what’s truly best for myself and my family.” — Marlon Gutierrez; Giving Time, Not Money, Priority For A Healthy, Happy Family
- “Star Wars has succeeded in becoming not just part of pop culture, but truly entering into the world’s vernacular.” — Mickey Farmer; Top 20 Quotes From the Star Wars Movie Franchise
- “Based on my own informal research among some parenting peers, screaming at someone else’s child is a big no-no.” — Mike Armstrong; Why Reclining Seats Are Trouble
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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Originally published at https://www.dad2summit.com on May 3, 2019.