Ep.13 – Anya Kamenetz – The Art of Screen Time: Digital Parenting Without Fear

Paul FennerPodcast

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How worried should we really be about kids and tech?  With kids on devices more than ever due to virtual learning, where is all of this heading? And what should we actually do about it?

Today I speak with Anya Kamenetz, the author of The Art of Screen Time: Digital Parenting Without Fear.  Anya is also an education correspondent for NPR, and her work can be found in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Slate, and O, the Oprah Magazine.

Specifically, we talk about the effects that screens can have on our children’s eyes, sleep, stress levels, and shared family time.  Our conversation dives deep into the research on these topics and more that Anya pulled together to write her book and other subsequent articles that she has written on kids and digital devices. 

There remains a large gap in our knowledge about the impact that digital devices can have on our kids due to a lack of research.  This is yet another problem when it comes to determining how to manage screen time with our kids.  Parents are mostly reliant upon having conversations and sharing research such as Anya’s with other parents.

Anya goes on to say, “What I’ve come to realize with clarity in these dark, anxious times is that so many of our problems “with technology” don’t emanate from the screens that our children are glued to but from the disruption and alienation that creeps into our own relationships with ourselves and others as we allow our experiences and tough emotions to be mediated, numbed out, blurred, by media. The phone is like a fentanyl lollipop; yes, it’s possible to abuse, but our pain, and the massive pain of the world driving us to it, is arguably the real problem.

A critical takeaway from Anya’s work and personal experience is to believe your eyes and trust your instincts when it comes to not only managing screen time, but our children’s social interactions.

Please enjoy my conversation with Anya Kamenetz

Anya Kamenetz

The Art of Screen Time: Digital Parenting Without Fear

Dr. Laura Hutchison – Parenting in the Age of COVID-19 with Compassion & Empathy

I Was a Screen–Time Expert. Then the Coronavirus Happened.

Common Sense Media – leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families