Is Screen Time Bad for Kids?

Q: Should I be limiting the amount of time my children spend on devices?

— “Conflicted” in Conshohocken

A: The short answer: Yes.


The reason you’re likely conflicted, “Conflicted,” is because you’re straddling two opposing thoughts:

First is the suspicion that too much exposure to smartphones and tablets is having a detrimental effect on your children. Second is the sense that, throughout history, parents seem to rail against almost any new technology as a matter of reflex. Just because your parents yelled at you to, say, turn off that goddamn Commodore 64, doesn’t mean they were right — and, as a good parent, you don’t want to repeat those mistakes. (When you get to a certain age you know: Noticing elements of your parents in yourself is jarring; noticing the elements you downright hated as a kid is vomit-inducing.)

That said, when it comes to kids and mobile devices, you should trust that nagging sensation in your gut.


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