Research & Discovery

Family rules for screen time

We are trying to understand if a family’s rules are stated or unstated, enforced consistently or not. In general, most families with kids under the age of 12 felt that 1 hour was ideal but 1-2 hours daily was likely happening.

In this instance we define screen time as time spent with interactive digital screens. Rules generally are set more consciously with this type of time. Watching TV and playing video games was sometimes included in the 1-2 hours but roughly a third of families felt that these other activities were different.

86% of families feel that they had received information for an authoritative source that 1 hour was the correct amount of time. But only 36% of those could say exactly where that information had come from. 33% of families have a friend they trust who’d become the expert in their social circle and passed that information on.

In terms of tracking daily screen time, 17% of families use a timer of some sort and 11% have their technology programmed to automatically shut off at certain times. Those families who have it shut off automatically in some way, reported the most ease in getting child to stop versus having to turn the device off manually.

17% of families with kids under 10 did not give any screen time at all during the week for the purpose of enjoyment.

For those families who do give screen time during the week, 8% is given in the morning before school or daycare, 27% is given in the early evening before dinner and 65% is given after dinner and before bed.

82% give screen time as a reward or make it conditional to something else like finishing chores or having good grades at school.

99% of the time these rules regarding screen time did not apply on long car rides and plane travel.

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