That Battle You’re Having With Your Kid Over Screens? It’s Not a Fair Fight. (But Here Are 3 Things Parents Can Do.)

Emily Cherkin
2 min readMay 14, 2021

No question: Parents can and should do a better job of setting limits on screentime. But parents need to understand that when it comes to screentime battles with our kids, we are fighting products intentionally designed to hijack their brains…and it is not a fair fight.

As The Screentime Consultant, parents have shared with me how excessive use of screentime during COVID has negatively impacted family stress. As the New York Times recently pointed out, unsurprisingly, children’s use of screens went up during the pandemic. And we know it went up for us as adults, too.

In March of 2020, we handed over iPads and gaming as a way for kids to “connect” socially to friends and to allow us to get our work done, while they also logged in for hours a day for remote learning. Now over a year later we are well into a viral pandemic but facing a second, technological pandemic that takes unfair advantage of children’s brains. (Which, notably, was an issue prior to COVID, but has been exacerbated by the past year’s increased use.)

Parents tell me all the time that their biggest family conflicts now are around screentime. But parents don’t realize this is an unfair fight because the products our children use are designed to hook and hold attention.

So what is going? It’s called “persuasive design” …

Read the rest of this story on Emily’s website (linked here)!

Emily Cherkin, M.A.Ed., is a tech-intentional parent, educator, speaker, writer, and founder of The Screentime Consultant, LLC, and her work has been featured in local and national news, including in The New York Times and on The Today Show and Good Morning, America.



Emily Cherkin

Emily is a speaker, writer, consultant, and parent of two. A former middle school teacher, she is now the founder and owner of The Screentime Consultant.