Parents In Conflict Over Screen Time

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Carrots&Cake listened to the top Screen Time podcasts by TVO & summarized the key takeaways. Carrots&Cake independently created these podcast notes and does not have any affiliation with the Screen Time podcast.

Key Individuals and Intro

  • The positive impact of parenting as a united front has on family dynamics and child behavior has been well documented. In this episode, Dr. Ruston examines when parents don’t see eye to eye regarding rules and discipline within the family unit. Specifically, this episode explores strategies that parents can turn to in times of disagreement, whether they are married or not.
  • Clinical psychologist Laura Kastner, Ph.D., and school counselor Tammy Fisher Huson, Ph.D., share their insights on this matter. Both of them have spent decades working with youth and parents. Researcher Doug Gentile, who studied 1400 families for a year, shares his findings and advice. 

Key Takeaways

  • When parents set clear limits on screen usage there is a direct correlation leading to an increase in children’s productivity and class participation. 
  • Diversity of ideas and opinions is a natural part of life and this should be celebrated.
  • Parents should consider various factors when determining screen time-related rules for their children. They should find the right balance between what works for their family, what’s the norm within their society, and what they consider ideal parenting.

Doug Gentile

  • Doug Gentile and his team tracked more than 1400 households with kids from third through fifth graders for a year. They interviewed the kids, the parents, the teachers, and the school nurses. Collectively they obtained vast amounts of information about these families and their screen time rules. Doug and his team monitored the children’s progression through the school year and measured against their screen time rules.


    The findings suggested that kids whose media use was limited and moderated showed greater interest in school and increased class participation. This contrasted with the kids whose screen media use was left for them to manage themselves. Those kids demonstrated less class participation and diverted interest. 

Screen Time Tips

  • Parents should team up as a united front. Their kid shouldn’t feel as if there is a bias between rules set around screen time usage.  

Dr. Laura Kassner

  • Dr. Laura Kassner stated that it's healthy for kids to see their parents in conflict, but parents should be on their best behavior modeling and constructively solving problems. The key is self-discipline when engaging in conflict in front of your children.

Dr. Tammy Fisher

  • Dr. Tammy Fisher shared that by finding a common ground for rules set by parents and avoiding conflicts of rules it's easier to set a policy and move on to other things like manners, homework, sleep, and nutrition. It's not wise for parents to spend all their time arguing about social media.

Screen time rules for divorced parents

  • It’s not uncommon for a stricter parent to be afraid that they will be less loved, and kids will spend more time with the parent who is more permissive around screen time. Divorced parents should set common rules for both households to maintain consistency and should stick to them.
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