Screen Time for Kids – What Parents Fear

Today, if you ask any parent whether screen time is good for their kids, they’ll probably say it’s not. If you ask them if they nevertheless allow their kids to interact with screens, many of them will tell you they do. Although parents are aware that screen time can have a negative effect on their kids, they may not recognize that there are benefits to this interaction that shouldn’t be overlooked. So, how do we find the balance?

Fears parents have – and the good news

Screen time is passive.

Children, especially teenagers, could sit and scroll through social media for hours, right? When a child spends their screen time mindlessly, with no creativity or interaction required to progress, it’s referred to as passive screen time. Some other activities that are usually passive are watching YouTube videos, browsing the internet, and playing repetitive games.

However, screen time can be active, too! Many activities involve cognitive or physical engagement. For example, coding a website, designing digital space, and playing educational games are all considered active screen time.

Playing games affects education.

This is true if a child spends too much time playing video games or playing them instead of doing their homework or some other school-related activity. Also, many children play video games at night, resulting in sleep deprivation and inability to focus in class, among other problems.

On the other hand, many educational games can teach your child useful things. And here we don’t mean only learning math, physics, etc., or simply acquiring skills directly related to technology. Kids can learn teamwork skills, too! They can master skills like communication, collaboration, persistence, and how to be a good leader. But although educational games are beneficial, parents should be aware that they can be just as addictive. So, it’s important to limit time even for them.

Screens isolate children.

Do you have to ask your kid the same question three times before they answer it while they’re playing video games? You’re thinking That screen’s coming between me and my child! It can be, sure, but it also can be a source of new topics for you. Try talking with your child about some game they play. For example, what “the rules” are, what they’ve learned by playing it, with whom they play, etc. You could also ask your child to teach you how to play their favorite game, so you can play it together.

If you want to learn more about these fears and why they’re unjustified, watch TED Talk by Sara DeWitt

Why children should have (limited) screen time


In today’s world, it would be more harmful than beneficial to forbid your child screen time completely. Despite concerns that screens isolate children, it’s really hard for a kid to socialize if they don’t use screens. Children often talk about news they’ve read, podcasts they’ve watched, and about important things they’ve learned with their peers. So imagine your child standing around with friends and having no idea what other kids are talking about. They certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable.

Remember that many screen activities include social interaction. Think about playing video games with friends or chatting. And they may even make some new friends around the globe!




Learning new things and developing new skills.

Screen time gives us the opportunity to learn a lot of useful information. It’s easier to find something we want to learn using our screens rather than books, for example, and it makes the whole process faster. And, of course, digital skills are a must today.

Plus, there are some skills that can’t be learned in school but are necessary in the 21st century. Whatever career your child will pursue, they’ll need teamwork skills to be successful. It’s important today (and for tomorrow!) to learn the art of problem-solving, asking for and giving feedback, and further developing creativity. And that’s exactly where screen time comes into the picture! The possibility of replacing what’s missing in schools we see as one of the greatest benefits of screen time.


Screens are a part of our lives so it becomes about teaching kids how to live with them in a healthy and ethical way. – Jordan Shapiro, a research psychologist and author of “The New Childhood”

Although there has been considerable research into the effects of screen time, most of the data are still limited. That’s one of the reasons why it’s hard to define what constitutes healthy screen use. We certainly believe that screen time can lead to many problems, such as addiction, anxiety or depression, obesity, poor grades, and social isolation. But it’s increasingly a necessity these days and it undoubtedly can provide many benefits. It’s all about balance, and the kind of content your kids are engaging with! So here are two more things that we’d like you to remember.

  1. Screen time can be great but not too much of it. So don’t use screens as a default time-killer or background noise. Kids should spend time outside playing, as you already know. Many outdoor activities can be lots of fun and just waiting for you to discover them. Also, the time that the child spends with screens should be age-appropriate. The effects of three-hours-long screen time on a toddler and a teenager are pretty different, right? You can find many guidelines and apps to help you with this one, but we recommend you choose what works best for your family.
  2. Not all screen time is created equal. Help your child choose how they spend time in front of screens. Look for activities that can help them grow, learn new things, acquire new skills. And making some new friends is a great bonus!

The Case For Pomegranates: Embracing Different Cultures

by Anja Anđelković

Have you ever discovered you’ve been doing something wrong your whole life? For instance, you’d been picking the seeds out of a pomegranate one by one and swearing you’d never buy a pomegranate again, only to find yourself back in the grocery store getting another one because they’re just too tasty. And then one day you come across a YouTube video explaining how to peel a pomegranate and get the seeds out without the hassle and the usual red splatters everywhere. Who came up with such an ingenious idea? Well, most likely it was someone who grew up in a country where eating pomegranates is commonplace and who couldn’t imagine anyone peeling them any other way until they saw us making a mess. To put it simply, the person behind your “life-changing” video grew up in a different culture.

Now, imagine a world without such helpful videos, or far worse, a world where you would never come in contact with people from different cultures. Not only would you not know how to deseed a pomegranate properly (such a necessary skill!), but you’d miss out on all the wonders of diversity: you would know nothing about different peoples and their customs and much of the wealth of humanity’s artistic and literary endeavor would be denied you. And you and all your friends, confined to the same small cultural group, would live unaware of the enriching possibilities of the wider world.  Luckily, times have changed. The global world of today is a hodgepodge of people from many diverse cultures moving from country to country, interacting on many levels, and living side by side in the same places.

Living in such a world is a rewarding experience we should all cherish, but unfortunately, there are some people who aren’t prepared to embrace cultural differences and who discriminate against anyone whose traditions are unfamiliar to them. It would be simple to just dismiss such people as an uninformed minority, but the truth is that we all need to live in harmony, respecting each other and our differences. And in order to do so, we need to know a lot more about each other and also ourselves. Without a doubt, the key to living in this modern multicultural society is learning – learning as much as we can about the world we live in and its people throughout our lives… And the path to making life in a diverse society more harmonious for everyone starts with the individual, most effectively a child, ready to absorb a wealth of knowledge that will shape a new generation.

Learning About Other Cultures

When we just say “learn about cultures” it might sound a bit boring and make you think about the time you spent reading about different types of ancient Greek columns or different countries around the world, but the truth is that learning about other peoples and their way of life can be extremely fun and engaging.

Clearly, the most immersive way to becoming familiar with a different culture is to learn to speak another language, which entails far more than simply becoming proficient in its vocabulary and grammar. Most importantly, it necessitates learning about the society where the language is spoken. So if you want your child to become more informed and understanding of other cultures, encourage them to take some language classes or maybe learn a foreign language together with them.

  • Another fun and extremely rewarding way of embracing differences is through travel and experiencing an unfamiliar culture first hand. Of course, this isn’t so easy to achieve but if you get an opportunity, travel somewhere outside your own experience and immerse yourself in the culture with your child. If circumstances don’t allow this, traveling from your living room has never been as easy as it is now: watch shows about different people and parts of the world previously unknown to you, or watch movies originating in different countries. Ease into it by starting with movies in English but featuring characters from different backgrounds..,
  • Pick a book with a character from a different culture. Read it with your child. Discuss how the characters are similar and different from the people who live in your community.
  • Going to festivals and the celebrations of people who don’t observe the same holidays as you do with your child is another great way to get to know different cultures and ways of life and broaden your horizons. Try to find out about other groups who live in your community and make a point of learning about the artistic or scientific achievements their society has accomplished.
  • And most importantly, encourage your child to interact with as many “different” people as they can and try to explain how the unfamiliar isn’t anything to be scared of and especially not something you should make fun of, but how differences are what makes our society interesting and how important it is to accept and respect everybody. Tell them how much easier your life would have been if only you’d known an Iranian who could have shown you how to deseed a pomegranate properly.

The Johannesburg Declaration (2002) says that “our rich diversity … is our collective strength”.  When you read about all the benefits that embracing our diverse world can bring and when you think about everything our society has already achieved and the limitless potential it has, especially if we can overcome prejudice and discrimination, this powerful statement doesn’t only resonate with hope, it can also serve as a call to action to truly celebrate our diversity.