Our research-based philosophy is that it is best to limit screen-time until age 5, and it is important to be a Tech-Wise Parent throughout your child’s development. This archive of articles is written by a psychologist and mom dedicated to summarizing the psychological research and providing a professional opinion related to young children and screen-time. This site is here to help you make great parenting choices.

Tech-Wise Parenting Articles

Five Tips for Staying Screen-Free When the New Baby Comes

One of the many benefits of the huge and active Screen-Free Parenting Community we have created is that we learn how our readers are...

Screen-Time Rules? It Depends on the Kid

While our domain name implies a strict stance towards screens and we do have recommendations, we really do believe in taking a more nuanced...

Your Husband is Right: Bigger is Better

I hate gender stereotypes almost as much as I hate creating titles for my blog entries. So, I will start by apologizing for the...

New Screen-Time Research Supports the Screen-Language Delay Connection in Children

A while back, we shared an image Screen-Free Dad created and it went viral (see below). It was shared and commented on by many. The shares...

Want to be Closer to Your Kids? There’s an App for...

Perhaps one of the best marketing slogans of the past two decades is Apple’s “There’s an app for that.” The message is clear: If...

Physical Books are What Kids Need and Prefer

A recent wildly successful Kickstarter campaign proposed an application on your phone that provided children’s’ books complete with picture projections and sound effects (basically...

Parent Like it’s 1899. How Parents of Previous Generations Got a...

When parents hear about Screen-Free Parenting, a common objection to screen-free or, what most of us do, screen-limiting, is that it would be impossible...

How to Be a Quiet Adult: Five Tips to Encourage Child-Directed...

Recently, my two young screen-free kids (currently 2 and 4-years-old) have been doing something amazing. They play by themselves – sometimes for hours. The curious...

The Problem with Parental Control Applications and the Real Solution

We have all been trained to believe, "there's an app for that". Want a ride? Uber. Want a room? AirBnB. Want to limit your child's...

Screen-Free Dad Discusses Parenting and the One Thing Every Child Should...

At Screen-Free Parenting, we love parents that are dedicated to being great parents. If you follow our site, congratulations, you automatically are a member...

The Sad Truth About Surprise Egg Opening Videos

Kids are obsessed with surprise egg opening videos on YouTube with great search-engine optimized names like “NEW Huge 101 Surprise Egg Opening Kinder Surprise...

A Good Thing Gone Wrong: A Problem with Educational Media  

  Imagine a show which depicts children are fighting over a toy. An adult steps in and the importance of sharing is discussed. The children...

I Sold My Dream Car to Dad Better

In life there are jobs and there are hobbies. Parenting is without question, a job. Don’t get me wrong, it is the most rewarding...

It Can Wait: A Dad’s Perspective on Screen-Time

In my bio for this website, I explain that I am somewhat of a recovering screen-aholic. I loved television growing up, had one in...

25 Conversations to Have with Kids about Screens

How do you raise tech-wise kids in a screen-saturated world? I can promise you that the answer is not found in a fancy application,...

Staying Fit With Little Kids: Save Money, Train With Them and...

Screen-Free Mom and I often have similar viewpoints on parenting, finances and major life choices. We are thankful for this, but are often surprised...

Staying Fit with Little Kids: Why You Don’t Need a Gym...

Screen-Free Dad and I often have similar viewpoints on parenting, finances and major life choices. We are thankful for this, but are often surprised...

Take the Challenge: Screen-Free For the Holidays

Do screens bring you together? Cable companies will try to sell you on that ideal. I almost don’t want you to watch this advertisement...

How to Introduce Screens as an Educational Tool

Your phone and your iPad are evil time-sucking entertainment devices. However, they also open up a world of knowledge, creativity and interpersonal connection. The...

Managing Screens with Grandparents: Screen-Free Parenting Q&A

Welcome to the first in a new series: Screen-Free Parenting Q&A. I aim to provide some helpful advice and research-backed information for parents with...

What Happens When Parents Limit Screens?

We have written plenty on what happens when parents do not limit screens sufficiently. Avoiding sleep problems, rigid gender stereotypes and consumerism may be...

The Problem with the Smartphone Contract

Children are now receiving their first smartphone at age 10. Just to put that into perspective, that’s three years before children are even legally...

Walking the Walk: Modeling Good Screen Use 

I find parenting to be a great motivator for personal reflection and behavior change. By far the best way to raise a child who...

Screen-Free Inspiration for Sick and Tired Kids

About a month ago my 1-year-old began getting very fussy about eating and our 4-year-old daughter presented us with a series of “bug bites”...

Nurturing Your Child’s Capacity for Self-Directed Play

Self-directed play in babies and young children may not look like play at all. But when a child is happily engaged in something independently,...

Is Tech What Kids Really Want? One Teacher’s Social Experiment

From Dr. Screen-Free Mom and Dad: If given the choice, will young kids choose engaging yet solitary educational computer games or highly-social old-school board...

The Learning Opportunity that is Trick-or-Treating

It’s a favorite of children and adults alike. Candy and costumes make for a wonderfully simple and absolutely adorable holiday. While Thanksgiving and the...

The AAP Releases New Screen Policy; Everyone Uses it to Argue...

In what has become the norm for American news reporting, each outlet had a different take on the new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)...

Educational Media for Young Children: The Big Lie Worth Big Bucks

There is little regulation of what is deemed and advertised as “educational” for babies and young children. It is largely up to the developer...

9 Unexpected Bonuses of Parenting Screen-Free  

We have written about the research on why delaying screen-time introduction is a good idea. We have talked about why we think screen-free parenting...

Introducing the Screen-Free Community

If you are delaying (or limiting) your child’s introduction to screen-time, good for you. Science is on your side and there is no negative...

Connecting with Your Kids: Parenting Has (Not) Changed

“The only things certain in family life are eating and arguing- sometimes at the same time.” – Catherine Steiner-Adair, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and...

Are Screens Heroin? Are Screens Addicting?

A recent piece in the New York Post suggested screens may be akin to heroin. The answer to whether screens are heroin or if...

Podcast: Is Screen-Free Parenting easier? Does it even Matter?

"Is Screen-Free Parenting easier? Does it even Matter?" That’s the title Shawn Fink of The Abundant Mama Project gave our podcast episode. We happen to...

A Toy Library: Keeping Toys Interesting while Reducing Clutter

Some mental health experts suggest that by simplifying your child’s environment, you can reduce behavioral and emotional problems caused by overstimulation. A movement towards...

Habit Matters Too

The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change. ~Eng's Principle Every single day, as soon as my daughter get's halfway through...

The Present Moment: Five Ways Mindfulness Can Help You on Your...

“Young children live in the present moment, oblivious to the past, unconcerned about the future. They see objects, people and events with fresh eyes,...

Sensitive Boys and Strong Girls: 5 Tips for Counteracting Media Gender...

“All television is educational; the question is: What is it teaching?” – Nicholas Johnson, former Federal Communications Commissioner1 Current estimates suggest that before they are...

What “Stranger Things” Can Teach Us About Parenting

Even the Screen-Free Parents are not immune to the craze that is Netflix’s original series Stranger Things. We may advocate delaying screen-time for young...

Why You Should Make Your Smart Phone Dumb

I don’t just dislike smartphones in the hands of young kids. I also don’t like my own smart phone. I find it distracting. I...

How to Bond and Help Your Child Through Parent-Child Interaction Therapy...

Parents Can (and Should) Utilize Principles of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy in Everyday Life There are a variety of play therapies utilized in counseling with the...

Skype Away! Children Can Learn and Connect Through Video Chatting

Criticisms of strict media guidelines often bring up exceptions to the rule: “You’re telling me I can’t Skype with her grandmother?!” But, common sense...

Books vs. Screens: 6 Reasons Books Win Every time

One reason we choose to delay screen-time in our house is that there are so many other activities that our children can engage in...

How To Raise Your Child To Think Like A Boss

In my opinion, entrepreneurship is having its moment. A variety of factors have come together to make it easier and better to be your...

The Screen-Free Parents’ First Podcast Interview

We had the pleasure recently of being interviewed by Andrea Farby, who runs the blog www.it-takes-time.com and hosts The Connecting Place podcast. In the podcast (play below) we discuss why we decided...

New American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Media Violence and Children:...

The American Academy of Pediatrics is well known for their statements on protecting children from the negative effects of screens. They are most often...

How Screen-Free Parenting fits with Minimalist Parenting

Stated very simply, minimalism is the idea that we can do more with less; that we are better off by reducing the amount we...

The Time Suck

“We say that we have no time. But we have lots of time, or every study wouldn’t show that we watch three or four...

Read More from Screen-Free Mom on HeySigmund.com

One of my favorite things about the internet is blogging, not only running my own, but also reading what else is out there. There are...

If Your Kid Has a Gratitude Problem, You Might be Causing...

We all want our kids to be appreciative of what they have and what we do for them. Most kids struggle with this at...

Four Tips for Raising Media Smart Kids

Media smart kids are what we all want. I define this as kids (and eventually adults) who know how to access and use media...

Mommy Judgment is a Fact of Evolution (And it’s Not Going...

Preface: Our Culture and Extreme Cases This article is about everyday mom judgment. It’s about the click-bait articles that are posted to get everyone...

Screen-Time Should NOT be a Reward

Parents, educators, psychologists and the like are all trying to figure out how to manage screen-time and children. We are raising a generation with...

Netflix Releases New Binge Data: If Adults Cannot Control Themselves, How...

This week Netflix released their new “Binge Scale.” While it is focused on adults, their children’s programs are equally binge-worthy.  Have you ever been too enthralled in...

The Internet Is Changing Your Brain: Part Two

This is a two-part article on the research regarding how internet use can affect us. There is so much good information that I have...

The Internet Is Changing Your Brain: Part One

This is a two-part article on the research regarding how internet use can affect us. There is so much good information that I have...

A Reflection on My Not-So Screen-Free Week

I hope you all survived Screen-Free Week.  As you could have guessed, for our children, it was business as usual. However, I must say...

Stop Wasting My Tax Dollars on Screens: A Letter to Public...

There has been an ongoing trend towards integrating more technology in grade-school classrooms and at younger and younger ages. This often involves assigning each student a tablet or...

Kids and Screens: 9 Reasonable Screen Rule Alternatives to Being Totally...

I recently had a friend tell me they were scared to share that their grandchild watches one twenty minute cartoon per day.  No! That...

Weaning a Screen Habit: Four Times to Eliminate Screens from Your...

Child development experts suggest “screen-free zones.”  If you are not ready to convert your kids to a fully screen-free lifestyle, these are the four screen-free...

The Ultimate Guide to Screen-Free Week Infographic Boils Down Everything You...

Screen-Free Week is May 1st – May 7th.  We want all of you to participate! To help motivate you, we created an infographic that...

Am I in the Right Place? You Can Love Your Smartphone...

You somehow found yourself at the Screen-Free Parenting website.  How? You love your smartphone and your preschooler knows the theme songs to all the...

Have You Spoiled Your Child Today? Meet: S.P.O.I.L., a Screen-Free Psychologically-Based...

Our take on screen-free activities is based on developmental psychology and overall good mental and physical health. Our research has led us to develop...

4 Simple Ways To Assess Your Kid’s Favorite Shows, if You...

We recommend you delay your young child's introduction to screens as long as possible. When you are ready, there are some key (research-based) ways...

Your Kids Are Boring Because You Never Let Them Be Bored

It seems like boredom is on its way out.  And, that’s a bad thing.  Screens are stealing boredom from your child at an alarming...

Screen-Free Parenting Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

If Steve Jobs, Wolverine, and Princess Anna said your kid should be screen-free, would you listen? Okay, they basically did.  Many parents justify screen-time with...

Why the Screens of Today are Not the TV You Grew...

“I watched TV growing up and I’m fine, so I don’t see the big deal.”  First, let me start by saying, how fine are...

Prisoners Have it Better Than Your Kid: Why Getting Outside is...

There are loads of physical health benefits to spending some quality time outdoors every day.  Regardless of the weather, time outdoors promotes Vitamin D...

Screen-Free Parenting Pointless and Impossible

Screenfreeparenting.com is a recent start-up aimed at parenting young children screen-free, while converting others to do the same and providing a place for screen-free...

5 Reasons To Throw that Tablet Out the Window: Why Screen...

I have an amazing baby product for you.  By the time I get done telling you about it, people are going to be lining...

Screen Time Recommendations For Kids By Age. Screen-Free Parenting’s Personal...

We think screen-free parenting is the way to go!  This article will outline what we do with our own kids and what we plan to...

How Much Daily Screen Time Do Kids Typically Have Anyway? The...

First of all, every reasonably credible study on how much screen time kids have is outdated.  They are actually outdated before the study is...