It’s not easy parenting in the digital age. For 2020, here are our recommendations for some New Year’s resolutions based on the latest child development research.
(1) Enjoy Digital Devices Together
Screentime can bring people together and allow for shared experiences. Identify the media and technology that adults and children can enjoy together. For example, children can connect with long-distance relatives through video chat or text emoji. Caregivers can look forward to watching family-friendly shows or playing multi-player video games together with their children.
(2) Let Kids Create with Technology
Technology can open up new avenues for creative expression, even for young children. Try substituting creative activities (like coding, drawing, or recording) for passive ones (like watching videos). Have your children choreograph dances and make their own music videos, or take a digital camera outside for a photo scavenger hunt.
(3) Be a Good Role Model
Show your children that technology is a useful tool. Whether you are mapping directions to our museum, video chatting with far-away relatives, or putting away your phone during dinner, you are demonstrating healthy screentime habits for your children. Being mindful of your role as a parent may give you extra motivation for moderating your own screentime use.
In the next few weeks, we will share some of the research behind these tips, additional suggestions, and some nudges that will help you shape your family screentime habits. Technology is here to stay and our children will need to navigate in this new world as it continues evolving in the years to come.
Happy New Year!
Carol Tang, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Children’s Creativity Museum