Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight

Common Sense Media just released a brand new report about the evolution of media use by kids age eight and under.

Yes… eight and under!

If you found it difficult to believe that the average age today’s kids receive their first smartphone is 10 (yes… that’s just the average), then you’ll find it even more intriguing how much and what kinds of technology kids are using in the years prior.

I think parents are slowly realizing that kids are being inundated with entertainment media and technology at younger ages. In my parent workshops, churches no longer just market to “parents of teens”… because they realize parents of 4th graders and 6th graders are watching entertainment from the same sources (YouTube, Netflix) and experiencing the same struggles. In fact, when my publisher and I were discussing the title of my new Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices …a book that many parents are calling their new “phone contract” their kids need to read before getting their device… it almost seemed silly to use the word “Teens” because we know that many “tweens” were the ones who really needed to read it!

Today’s children age zero-to-eight average over three hours a day with media, 42 minutes on a mobile device. Here’s some random facts I found interesting:

  • 42% of 0-8-year-olds have their own tablet (compared to 7% in 2013)
  • 42% of parents admit that the TV is on “always” or “most of the time” in their home, whether anyone is watching or not.
  • 33% of 0-8-year-olds watch music videos

But by God’s grace…

  • Only 4% of 0-8-year-olds use social media sites like Insta, Snapchat or Music.ly

That’s why Common Sense Media urges parents to get an early start on setting healthy media habits.

I encourage you to read, or at least skim this new report and see exactly how fast mobile technology is changing the family dynamic. Here’s a helpful infographic with many of the findings:

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
[Are you getting this daily blog in your email inbox?] If not, it's real easy-go here.
This entry was posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Music, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, TV, Youth Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *