Special Reports

Not Just Kids - Parents Spend Much Screen Time Too, Report Says


Parents often worry about their child's screen time and try to find ways to lower or reduce them. A new study, however, shows that parents actually spend a lot of screen time too.

In the report titled "The Common Sense Census: Plugged-In Parents of Tweens and Teens," Common Sense Media surveyed over 1,700 parents whose children were between 8 and 18, asking them about how they use media and talk to their kids about it. They found that parents were avid users of media as well, gathering well over nine hours of screen time any given day, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Of the nine hours, about 82% (almost eight hours) are dedicated to personal screen media activities such as watching TV, spending time on social media such as Facebook, and some video games. The rest are dedicated for work.

Common Sense Media also found that many parents are concerned about their child's screen time. About 43% of parents admitted to worrying about their child spending too much time online, and about a third of the respondents said they think the technology is negatively affective their child's sleep.

Still, parents believe that media has its positive impact on their kids. Nearly all of the parents (94%) think technology positively supports their child's schoolwork and education. About 44% also think that social media helps improve their child's relationships with his or her friends.

Parents, however, generally believe it's important to monitor their child's use of media. Most think that it's important to monitor their safety, about two-thirds say that monitoring their child's use is more important than respecting the child's online privacy, and more than 40% of parents (two in five) check their child's devices and social media accounts frequently.

Despite the huge amount of screen time these parents have, many of them believe that they are good role models for their child's use of media. "In fact, 78 percent of all parents believe they are good media and technology role models for their children," Common Sense Media's director of research, Michael Robb, wrote in a blog post. "Mothers are more likely than fathers to report this."

Parents believe that media is a positive tool that will help their child in many ways. And because there are no hard-and-fast rules as to how much screen time a person should have, parents should work on learning how to use media to help their child achieve better personal and academic development.

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