Parents today have a different set of challenges than their parents or grandparents did. These days, school-age children have a lot more options when it comes to screen time. A new study by Osmo, looks into whether parenting is more difficult today and if their children’s tech usage is a source of concern. 

kids on tablets

 

The study examined 2,000 US parents of school-age children and their attitudes towards parenting and practices between today’s adults and their parents. Surprisingly, 78% of those surveyed be;ive that they are better parents than their parents were. This study conducted by OnePoll also reveals a range of attitudes towards how they value time spent with children, including screen time, given how many mobile devices are being used by children and adults today.

“We conducted this exciting study to explore how today’s adult parents differ from past generations, how they learned parenting, how they value spending time with kids, and whether this includes allowing mobile screen time,” says Pramod Sharma, CEO of Osmo. “Given these parents grew up mostly without mobile devices, we were curious about their views on technology. We asked: ‘Are there rules in place? Do they limit children’s time on devices? Are they monitoring what games, videos, and apps their kids are consuming? Would they allow their kids more screen time if the content was educational?” 

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Sharma, the father of two children, co-founded Osmo because he desired a hands-on, educational, healthier way for kids to use devices, and allay parental anxiety about using technology at home. 

Participants admitted learning parenting from a wealth of sources like books, TV, websites, other parents, religion, as well as relying on their own parents and experiences. “Interestingly, while 77% think they should not expose children to punitive parenting practices they endured (spanking, being sent to your room or finishing dinner before leaving the table, adhering to strict bedtime), five in ten would love to share the experience of playing beloved board games with their children. This ranks as high as past-times like books, movies, sports and family meals, with 49% saying they will carry on similar traditions with their kids,” says Sharma. “It suggests that families still value game time as a very important part of child development.”

The majority of the parents polled embrace the use of technology in the home, but they monitor usage across devices and set rules around screen time. While they worry about the quality of the content their children consume, 48% would allow more screen time if the content was educational. 

While Sharma allows his little ones to freely use iPads at home, he makes sure their screen time is active versus passive. “The case of watching hours of YouTube mindlessly is not part of our family’s parenting practice,” he says. 

Respondents said that they may spend anywhere from $10-$50 monthly on supplemental educational products and would even spend more if they felt the product was valuable.

“This data is compelling for Osmo because it shows parents are welcoming greater usage of educational products at home, while reinforcing our belief that hands-on games played within a group setting are a highly valuable means of learning,” says Sharma. “It validates Osmo’s mission to create quality programs that are fun for kids, parents and educators, and that educational technology will continue to grow.” 

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo by McKaela Lee on Unsplash

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