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Parents Look at Their Kids Only 20 Minutes More Than Their Phones

We should all stop doing this.

Every parent of a child that can talk has probably been told to put their phone down. My daughter does it to me and will get visibly upset if she sees me looking at my phone when I’m not supposed to be. (Sometimes she’ll even grab the phone from me and say “hello” and then put it down and say “they’re not there.”) The point is, whether it’s anecdotal or backed by big surveys, it’s pretty clear parents are on their phones too much.

If you need another reminder, today the New York Post reported that according to one survey, conducted by The Genius of Play, “respondents spend two hours and 17 minutes of personal time on their phone per day, compared to two hours and 41 minutes of quality, screen-free time with their children.”

What this means parents are admitting to spending only 24 minutes more with their kids — screen-free — than they do with their phones. Assuming this is representative of most people (and it seems like its) then we can all agree parents can do better here.

Sure, screentime with kids can be productive and even good for your relationship. But if we’re balancing our digital life against the actual time we spend with our kids, it’s pretty clear everyone is losing.