Great podcast Kevin and Jacqueline. My wife and I have talked about this sooo much. I think what has been helpful for me is to think about how much screen time I grew up on. I grew up on a steady dose of TV and tons of computer time, and I turned out alright! That keeps me grounded in this discussion. The handheld portability and accessibility of phones is a game changer, and I think takes more thinking than screen time = bad. I really like the points on modeling behavior and that has forced my wife and I to be much more conscious about how we are using phones and when we even have them in our hands. Second, we are old school, we only use the TV for videos; for games, has to be at the desktop computer, I installed an android emulator so that we can load the games there and they are not on a hand held device. That way there is a specific location and space for those activities and they cannot just ask for a video or game at any point or at any time. The only time they have watched videos on small screens (i.e., tablets) has been on long flights. Maybe we got luck with our kids but they don't even ask for them on 4+ hour car rides. We never watch videos on the phones outside of a bad habit we got in with our oldest in brushing her hair and watching videos, that was a mistake in my mind that we could not easily walk back. Which brings me to the last thing I think is important is to minimally use them for the kids boredom, distress etc. We usually use videos when parents need a moment not when kids are bored or upset and asking for them. If the kid is upset we try to focus on them rather than give them something to distract themselves from their feelings. If they are bored, great, more kids need to be bored, IMHO.

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Fascinating discussion! The main thing I’ve noticed with my kids is their inability to sit through things that aren’t exciting or interesting constantly. Tv, movies, presentations.

My sister is a teacher and has noticed the change too over the last 25 years in how long kids will sit and watch something in class before they get antsy.

I think my generation grew up being OK with some boredom (I watched some terrible TV out of boredom!) whereas kids today can keep scrolling and searching until they find something that gives them their dopamine hit.

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