How often do you hear people questioning the amount of 'screentime' children have each day, or week?

I came across a study from the Pew Research Centre last week which found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend in front of screens.

Surprising? Probably not.

Children are growing up in a world surrounded by technology where computer coding comes as easy to kids today as making diamonds out of string did to me, and they get as much fun out of creating and editing videos as I did out of playing elastics.


Film imagery can actually seem realistic, far from my day when a, now obviously fake, mechanically moving shark terrorised the town of Amity or Falkor the Luckdragon slid through skies looking like nothing more than a poor effort of Photoshop.

But what the report also highlighted was while parents are concerned about their kids' screentime, their own screen time habits also came into question.

More than half of teens said they found their parents or caregivers to be distracted when the teens were trying to have a conversation with them.

The study also found most teens check messages or notifications as soon as they wake up, and just over half of parents did the same.

Experts say - quite obviously if you ask me - that parents have a big role in their kids' screen habits.

You can't complain about a child's screentime if you're ignoring them because you're 'sending an email', 'doing some work' or just socialising on your phone or device.

Many times I've taken my kids to the park and noticed parents sitting on a seat on their phones while their children play - no judgement here by the way, I do exactly the same. It's a time when I know they are active and entertained, and I have a small amount of much-needed time to myself.

But as soon as they want me to be involved, I am.


Children do as parents do. Children in families out running, biking or playing sports in their free time will likely learn the same habits, while those with parents who play video games, are on devices, or work on their computers at home will no doubt follow suit in some way - we just can't complain about screen time if they don't see any different.

In today's world, where car doors close at the touch of a button and video calling makes connecting around the world so much easier - it's no surprise youth cannot get enough of their iPads and devices.

But, it's not necessarily a bad thing either.

This is their world and they have to know how to live in their world - we don't want to halt their growth in technological areas just because it's not what we, as parents, experienced in our youth.