K I D S A N D S C R E E N S
A N Y A K A M E N E T Z - @ A N Y A 1 A N Y A
P A R T I : W H A T ?
• Kids (and adults) are spending more time with screens
than doing any. thing. else.
• First exposure: 4 months old
• 3-5 –4 hours/day
• 8-12–6 hours/day
• 13-18 year olds—9 hours/day
3-5 8-12 13-18
P A R T I I : S O W H A T ? T H E G O O D :
• 21st century literacy
• School readiness & self-directed learning
• Attention (specialized applications)
• Accessibility, special needs
• Creativity, collaboration
• Friendship, joy
L E A R N I N G
• Kids can learn from screens as early as 2 and a half
with parent help.
• Educational TV like Sesame Street & Daniel Tiger
builds school readiness just like preschool.
• Digital fluency is essential for all ages.
G A M E S A S M E D I C I N E
• Video games can improve reading speed in dyslexic children.
• Fast-paced video games can help improve attentional control
and focus, potentially making people better learners in a broad
• Active video games such as the Wii or Kinect can motivate
children with obesity, cerebral palsy, or in physical therapy to
engage in physical activity.
• Video games have been used in the treatment of ADHD,
helping children harness and develop attentional control.
P A R T I I : S O W H A T ? T H E B A D :
• Attention disorders/distraction
• Emotion, behavior, aggression, depression
S L E E P
• “As kids and adults watch or use screens, with light
shining in their eyes and close to their face, bedtime
gets delayed, it takes longer to fall asleep, sleep
quality is reduced, and total sleep time is decreased.”
• --Lauren Hale, Stony Brook University
S L E E P
• Poor sleep correlated with every other negative impact
of screentime, from obesity to depression to school
• No TV in bedrooms or phones overnight; “kill switch”
(https://meetcircle.com/) if you need one; screen
dimmers like f.lux may help.
O B E S I T Y
• More than 2 hours a day of TV =
• 2x risk of obesity.
• Could be snacking.
• Could be commercials.
• Probably not the couch-potato issue.
• Unclear what effect interactive media has.
B E H A V I O R : A T T E N T I O N ,
A G G R E S S I O N , D E P R E S S I O N
• Effects are real, but small
• Dandelion vs. orchid theory
B E H A V I O R
• GOOD NEWS: Teens are graduating high school at
higher rates than ever before; teen pregnancy, STIs,
drug use, car accidents, antisocial behavior are all
• BAD NEWS: Anxiety, depression, and narcissism
appear to be rising.
A U T I S M S P E C T R U M
• “In one study of 2.5 year olds, the typically developing
group watched about 2 hours of television a day; those
on the spectrum, over 4 hours on average.”
A U T I S M S P E C T R U M
• Some doctors think it’s crowding out therapeutic human
interaction, making symptoms worse.
• Some autism advocates argue screens are an
adaptive/accessible resource for learning and emotional
• NO CAUSAL EVIDENCE!!!
A D D I C T I O N
• Nine out of ten American children under 18 play video
games. About 8 percent of them meet enough
categories on an addiction checklist to suggest about 3
million kids in the US are affected to some extent.
• Not just sheer amount of time, but does it affect sleep,
school performance, relationships, interest in other
P A R T I I I : N O W W H A T ?
• You are their first model
• Don’t text and drive!
• Distracted parenting at the playground
• Background TV/ “Secondhand media”
Y O U H A V E T H E P O W E R
• Authoritative parental mediation is associated with
lower use and better outcomes.
• Good strategies: time, occasion, priority, content
• Less useful strategies: convenience, surveillance
• Work together to set guidelines
• Family screen-free times
B E S T P R A C T I C E S F O R D I G I T A L
P A R E N T I N G
• Open communication
R E S O U R C E S
• anyakamenetz.net for updates