Managing Screen Time During the Pandemic

How are you managing screen time during the pandemic? 

According to at least one survey, kids’ time online has more than doubled since the pandemic began, and many kids now spend more than 6 hours per day online, in front of screens. And no wonder — screens are now our portal to school, work, socialization and extended family.

Which means that now is great time to examine our response to screens.


Many adults have a visceral, negative reaction to the sight of kids-on-screens, but the truth is that screen time itself is neither good nor bad. Digital devices are tools that can be used in a variety of ways.

“Screens are not a monolith,” says Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and founder of Raising Digital Natives. Instead of lumping all things digital into “screen time,” she says, parents really should look at what their kids are doing.

As much as possible, parents should adopt an observant (vs. judgmental) stance to their sons’ technology use. Adults can also role model responsible tech usage. Our kids should see us “using technology in an ethical, thoughtful, mindful way,” Devorah says.

In this episode, Jen, Janet & Devorah discuss:
  • Why all screen time isn’t equal
  • Dealing w parental guilt
  • Role modeling responsible internet usage
  • Tech “addiction”
  • Helping kids gain control of their screen time
  • When to seek professional help
  • Managing online, in-game purchases
  • Financial literacy in the digital age
  • Helping boys recognize and respond to racism, sexism and extreme ideologies in memes
  • Mentoring vs. monitoring
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Raising Digital Natives — Devorah’s website

Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive (& Thrive) in Their Digital World — Devorah’s book

Screens & Boys — ON BOYS episode

Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World w Jordan Shapiro — ON BOYS episode

iGen – ON BOYS episode

Decoding Boys w Dr. Cara Natterson — ON BOYS episode mentioned at 18:50

The Role of Memes in Teen CultureNYT article by Jen



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