Screened In: How The Pandemic Has Shaped Screen Time For Kids


Screened In: How The Pandemic Has Shaped Screen Time For Kids

by Alison Bucalo
Originally Published: 

Since Covid-19, screen time rules have gone out the window. Many of us relaxed our screen time limits or have just given up. Screens are a never ending fight with our kids.

How many of us can say we were able to set up a Zoom call before the pandemic hit? Now most kindergartners can host a virtual meeting like a pro. Technology has helped us through this chaotic time in ways we never thought possible. Tonight we will be talking about how the pandemic is shaping screen time for our kids, what to stop worrying about and what should give us pause.

We will hear from real moms who have expertise in media, medicine, a mom who shuts down all screens for one day every week and we will meet the number one female gamer in the world who also happens to be a mom.

As always, there will be no judgments. And I will say right off the bat we are not going to prescribe the exact number of ipad minutes per day that is right for your kids. Hello, it’s a pandemic. Instead we will offer some tips on why all screen time is not created equal, how to help your kid transition from screen time to other activities more easily, signs that of a screentime problem in need of a reset and the benefits and blindspots of socializing on video games.

On this session of our Live.Work.Thrive series, Micaela Birmingham asks these questions and more to a panel of experts. Our panelists include Dr. Jenny Radesky, MD, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, Media Researcher, Tiffany Shlain, Author, Filmmaker, Founder of the Webby Awards and Felicia Day, Author, Actress, and Producer.

Step one of managing screen time is to stop saying “screen time!” The negative connotations are triggers for all of us, so rephrasing our expectations for ourselves and our kids is a great start.

Second, give yourself a break and know that you’re not alone. We’re all trying to figure this out and it’s not an easy task. Apps and shows are designed to keep our kids watching. You know that Netflix reminder: “Continue watching” that used to pop up after three episodes? They don’t even get commercial breaks! Am I the only one who has to remind my daughter to go pee?

Next, finding what is practical and what works for your family is also important. Don’t make rules that you can’t stick to. What works for one, may not work for another. For some of us, a TikTok account is a great source of creativity for our kids. For others, our kids might need a lot of supervision ,if any access at all.

Finally, be aware of what they are watching. Is what they are watching good for your kids or does it make them irritable and moody? Certain programming can agitate children. On the other hand, there are programs that are calming and can make our kids think, ask questions and feel creative. And watching something together can inspire conversation and questions.

It’s not all bad and our kids’ heads won’t explode. If things feel out of control, talk to an expert for tips!

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