Digital Smarts - Standing Up to Screens – What’s a Parent To Do

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Richard Bromfield , a professor at the Harvard Medical School, begins his book called Standing Up to Screens: A Doable Plan for Parents United, with a telling quote from James Baldwin: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Bromfield notes parents use their own screens nine hours or more a day, more than most children or teens. Half talk on their phones while driving with their young children. A third text, and about 16 percent check their social media. "Yet despite these facts, 78 percent of parents judge themselves to be ‘good media role models’ for their children’s use of screens," he writes in a chapter titled "Fess Up." Bromfield is not prescribing a ban on devices, but his book describes a simple and novel strategy for parents to help their children learn to manage their screens.