Two separate studies have discovered that how long moms spend looking at screens each day has a significant impact on the amount of time their children spends doing the same.
Anyone who has ever had a child will have undoubtedly been given advice, often unwanted, by the generations who have come before them. The trouble is, things change. Trends, medicine, society. One of the biggest differences for parents raising children right now compared to when they were children is screen time.
Screens are nothing new and parents have been limiting how long their children spend in front of them for decades. However, screens are now far more accessible. There's no longer just one in the living room and maybe one in your child's bedroom. Most people in any household have at least one screen each, but probably more of varying sizes.
How much time children should spend looking at a screen is a widely debated topic as society's dive headfirst into it has happened so quickly and recently. Two new studies, reported on by MIT Technology Review, have discovered that a mom's screen use plays a big part in a child's use of screens. Sheri Madigan's research revealed moms who spend a lot of time on devices had kids who tended to do the same.
The second study, undertaken by Edwina Yeung, incorporated almost 4000 children and again, the maternal effect had a big part to play in how much time a child spent looking at a screen each day. There are other major factors, of course. Yeung's study also revealed that children with siblings have a lot more screen time per day too. It makes sense as it is probably a case of parents trying to keep one child quiet while they deal with the others.
It seems unfair to pin the blame on moms when it comes to screen time. It's ultimately a case of what both parents allow their children to do, and also what those children see their own parents doing. If mom and dad are looking at their phones all day, children will likely question why they can't do the same.