Written by PTC | Published September 8, 2023
Another school year is underway! Many children will be coming home in the days ahead, if they haven’t already, with school-issued computers or tablets. Now is the time to lay down some ground rules and set clear expectations and boundaries around their use of digital technology.
Whatever the benefits of giving children digital tools to help them in school, we know there are risks, too.
• According to one recent Pew Research Center survey, a majority of parents in the United States (66%) say that parenting is harder today than it was 20 years ago. Many cite technology as a reason why.
• A 2022 Common Sense Media survey of students found that most teens (73%) reported that they have consumed pornography, and among teens who reported that they have viewed pornography during the school day, nearly half (44%) reported having viewed pornography on school-owned devices.
• Extensive research has shown a correlation between excessive screen time and various mental health issues such as increased anxiety, depression, poor sleep patterns, reduced cognitive development and disordered eating.
To help you, we’ve developed a “Screen Time Safety and Cyber Kindness Contract” that you can print out, review together and sign. It is my sincere hope that this will be a help to you in establishing and enforcing household rules about technology.
I’d also like to encourage you to schedule time each week for device-free time together, and commit to it. Every Thursday could be family game night. Every Friday could be family movie night. Make sure there are no devices at family meal times.
It can be daunting to try to limit your child’s time on screens and devices. Especially with so many social forces, including the schools themselves, working against you! But believe me, it’s worth the effort.
At the Parents Television and Media Council, we remain committed to our mission of protecting children from harmful media content and ensuring their healthy development.
Your generous gift today will enable us to expand our efforts to reach more parents and grandparents, to educate them about media content and risks, to advocate for children and families against powerful media and tech giants, and to be proactive in protecting our precious young ones.
Thank you for your support in helping us create a safe and healthy environment for your children.
We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or need further guidance in managing screen time during the school year.
Together, let us work towards a brighter future for our children—one where they can flourish physically, mentally, and emotionally, both on and off the screen.