The following is a lightly tongue in cheek, non-judgmental inquiry into how parents deal with their kids’, and their own, screen time. Although not an evidence-based tool, reviewing the questionnaire can help parents find better ways to manage the challenges of screen time.
The questionnaire was written by Anya Kamenetz, an NPR journalist who covers education and aspects of family life. She is author of “The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life”. The link at the end of this article will provide you access to a one-page handout that may be suitable for distribution to the families you see in your office.
Some Recommendations for Screen Use: 1) Enjoy 2) Not Too Much 3) Do it Together.
What Kind of Screen Time Parent Are You?
Are you strict on-screen time, or do you feel overwhelmed trying to set limits? What about actually enjoying media with your kids? Take this quiz to learn more about your parenting style when it comes to digital media.
1) My kid(s) use screens….
Never, we’re Luddites
For a predetermined limit each day
Whenever I turn my back
2) My partner (if I have one) and I are _____ about our kid(s) screen time usage.
Generally, on the same page
Arguing – I’m the softy
Silently ignoring any differences
Bickering – I’m more strict
I don’t have a co-parent
3) At dinnertime with the kid(s), we …
Look at each other and talk about our days – OR ELSE
Scarf down takeout in separate rooms in front of our devices
Text under the table
Put the phone down, for the most part
4) My kid(s) and I use a screen to do homework …
Never. What happened to pencil and paper?
Only for big projects
It depends on what the assignment calls for
I do the assignment while he or she play Minecraft
5) I check my phone around my kid(s) …
Never during dinner of family time, Otherwise, I wait for the right moment
To see which of my appsthey.ve been using
Only if I get an email from my boss, Or a text from my sister. Or a Facebook like. Or a…
6) In the hour before bed, my kid(s)…
Complies when I say it is time to power down
Throws afit when I say turn off the iPad
Are into Hour 4 of their favorite game
Wouldn’t dare to even look at a power cord
7) When my kid(s) and I watch TV, I’m…
Turning up the sound to drown out the other devices in the room
Arguing with them about the countdown time
Talking with him or her about what’s going on in the story
8) At the playground or when out and about with my kid(s), I…
Keep my phone in my pocket in case I want to snap a cute picture of them
Check Pinterest, do some grocery shopping, text a friend, check my mail // where did
9) I put my screen in front of my kid(s) so I can do work …
All the time
What? I’d rather stay up until 3a.m.
If by “work” you mean ”check Twitter,” a lot
Once in a blue moon
For a brief listen click to hear her on All things Considered, January 29, 2018:
Concerned Parents and Teens can Call SmartCare Behavioral Health
Family Care Line 858 956-5900
For a printable version of the questionnaire, click HERE