A sampling of interviews, excerpts and reviews of The Art of Screen Time
Once I started talking to experts, I quickly discovered it’s not just parents who are confused. The world of research on kids and media, especially on increasingly ubiquitous mobile and touchscreens, is relatively young, hotly contested, and full of gaps. Enduring a tantrum-prone toddlerhood, if you will.
I often have my phone in my hand while breastfeeding my one-year-old daughter. This isn’t a confession, because I don’t feel guilty about it. Even though there are lots of people implying that I should.
I’m delivering a six-foot-tall Elmo a roundhouse kick in the guts. His stomach slices into angular shards as my foot intersects with it. Next, I step over to his friend Grover . . . closer . . . closer . . . and finally place my head directly inside his looming, black, black, black void of a mouth.
Screen time is a daily battle. Between kids and parents, between ourselves and our better judgment. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. There is a better way.
Best thing I've done w/ my 12yo is getting a 2nd controller for our PS4 so we can play video games together in living room. Lego games in particular have co-op mode so we both have characters on screen at same time. We work together to solve puzzles.
— Jay Boucher (@HobokenPudding) January 31, 2018
As technology increasingly dominates the lives of children, there remains a dearth of conclusive evidence about best practices for parents. Last month, Facebook released Messenger Kids, sparking outrage among child health advocates. Currently, two Apple shareholders are pushing for the company to reprogram the iPhone and iPad to allow for greater parental controls. In “The Art of Screen Time” Anya Kamenetz pieces together scientific research and personal experience to help families navigate their relationships to screens in a digital world. She joins us to discuss the book’s major takeaways.
Seattle’s recently-passed universal pre-k measure included a stipulation of standardized testing, but according to Kamenetz, today’s schools are sacrificing learning by enacting such regulations. Her insightful look at the world of standardized testing is a wake up call for teachers–and parents–to move beyond numbers, and refocus on the child.
Atomic Moms podcast
Anya Kamenetz, author of The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life, a mother of a six-year old and a toddler, monitors her own kids’ screen time quite closely. “In our house video watching is a Saturdays-only activity for the big girl,” she said. “Having clear rules works well for us at this age. During the week she gets three iPad sessions of 20 minutes to half an hour. We also have exceptions like travel, vacation and sick days, but even on screen days we make sure to balance with other activities,” she says.
There is an art to parenting with assistance from screens, weaving new media into family life – and it can have many benefits.
Because we still know so little about how screen time affects kids, it’s hard to determine what appropriate technology usage should be within families
One way to keep kids from overdoing technology is to give them credits they can spend for screen time (and perhaps earn by doing chores). For example, Kamenetz’s 6-year-old daughter receives three 20-minute passes a week to use an iPad.
Gretchen: What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier?
Anya: I don’t regularly meditate, but I stop and take deep belly breaths throughout the day, especially before I pick up the phone, go into a situation that makes me anxious, or go to bed at night.