New Roots Counseling Kids And Tech 1

One of the first questions I ask families new to our practice is: how many hours a day does your child spend on a screen, and how do you monitor this screen time? While the question itself surprises parents, the answer, once fully considered, shocks them. From school work to leisure time, our kiddos are spending more and more time in front of screens and in the digital world. As technology becomes more embedded in our lives and the lives of our kids, we, as parents, are faced with new concerns about how to protect our kids from the social and developmental consequences of screen time. So, how do we balance the benefits of technology with the downsides of living in a digital world? Even for the most technologically unsavvy, there are a few easy steps all parents can take to ensure the time our kids are spending in front of screens is healthy and productive.

  1. Know your device. Most devices, including Apple, Samsung, and Google devices, come equipped with screen time protection settings.These settings allow you to determine:
    1. How much time your kiddo spends on certain apps
    2. Which apps they can download
    3. Whether they can access the internet and two-way chat sites
  2. Know the apps and go with their recommendations. All apps, like movies or shows, have an age rating. As a parent, you can ensure the apps on your kids’ devices are age appropriate and do not share personal information with third parties.
  3. Know who your child is talking to. Whether you are parenting a teenager, a preteen, or a child, you should be fully in the know about the content and the individuals your kid is engaging with online. Talk to your kids about what appropriate online conversations look like as well as what personal information is and is not appropriate to share. Just like helping your kids navigate situations “IRL,” or “in real life,” you must too help them navigate online behavior.


Here are a few to-dos you, as a parent, can add to your routine:

  • Check your kids’ messages and browsing history
  • Monitor new apps
  • Ask your kids about their “online” friends


The reality is technology is not going away. As parents, it is our job to give our kids the boundaries and skills to ensure their time in front of a screen and in the digital world contributes to their overall wellness. Like setting limits in other aspects of your kids’ lives, establishing boundaries with technology might cause some tension. However, the results – raising a well-adjusted and responsible person – is well worth the effort.