Parenting Children in the Age of Screens

Parenting has never been easy. But the widespread adoption of smartphones and the rise of social media has introduced a new wrinkle to the challenges of parenthood. In fact, a majority of parents in the United States (66 percent)—who include those who have at least one child under the age of 18, but who may also have an adult child or children— say that parenting is harder today than it was 20 years ago, with many in this group citing technology as a reason why, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March.

One of the most highly discussed—topics among parents today is screen time. How much is too much? And what impact will screens have on children’s development? Amid these growing questions, the World Health Organization issued guidelines last year on the amount of time young children should spend in front of screens.

Parents with young children themselves make clear they are anxious about the effects of screen time. Fully 71 percent of parents of a child under the age of 12 say they are at least somewhat concerned their child might ever spend too much time in front of screens, including 31 percent who are very concerned about this. And some parents with a child in this age range already believe their child spends too much time on certain devices, including a smartphone. (It is important to note that this survey was fielded before the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. that closed many schools and led to widespread shutdowns and stay-at-home orders throughout the country.) Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center. Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.