Who knows the family screen time rules?

Tech Talk Tuesday #43
Are you and your family on the same page with screen time rules? 

When my daughter Tessa, who is in Screenagers, saw the completed film, I was shocked by one of her first reactions. She said, ”I didn't realize so many other kids are dealing with all this rule stuff like we are." Of course, she had been with me over the years as I was making the film, and yet somehow, she did not know how common it is for families to struggle with setting limits. She went on to tell me how rarely any of her friends talked about their rules around screen time. 

I know that we as parents often feel judged about our parenting and specifically parenting around tech time. The reality is that some rules and some limit-setting is a good thing.  There is an interesting study in Pediatrics, the Official Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, that found:

"Rules that were consistent and that were reported by both parents and children were associated with the lowest prevalence of children exceeding recommended screen-time limits"

In this Sunday’s New York Times there was a piece by a writer who informally surveyed people in his social media channels about their rules on screen time. This inspired this week's Tech Talk Tuesday:

Are you and your family on the same page with screen time rules? 

  • Bedtime: Is there a time devices go off? Can devices be in the bedroom? Where do they go in the house if not in the bedroom?
  • Homework: Can you have a computer out while doing homework? Can you have a phone out? Can you respond to texts, messages, Snapchats while doing homework?
  • Gaming: Are there rules around amount of time and or type of gaming? How about where you can game?
  • Social Media: Are there rules around time spent? Specific apps you can or can't use? Are there times you can't use social media?
  • Passwords: Do the parents in the house have passwords to every device and every account? 
  • Meals: Can you have your device out at meals?
  • We created this survey that we’d love you to fill out with the answers that you come up with above (don't do it at the dinner table because we don't want you to have devices at meals.)