Why screen time inhibits toddler development

Posted on: 02/14/19 10:00 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Where’s Nathan?

I just changed his diaper and plopped him in front of the TV… again.

Any theories why Nathan doesn’t walk yet?

It’s probably not a surprise to you to hear that if we plop our toddlers down in front of a screen it hurts their development. We’ve heard the arguments before. Too much screen time has negative effects all around. And some experts even push back and try to contest it.

But according to a new study from the University of Calgary, the results are pretty clear about the effects of screen time on young kids.

“Greater screen time at 24 months was associated with poorer performance on developmental screening tests at 36 months, and similarly, greater screen time at 36 months was associated with lower scores on developmental screening tests at 60 months.”

The element I find intriguing is why.

Why?

“A lot of the positive stimulation that helps kids with their physical and cognitive development comes from interactions with caregivers.”

There it is once again—the indisputable fact. Kids need face-to-face interactions with Mom and Dad.

This wasn’t the only reason why. Experts also noticed that inactive kids tended to not develop motor skills or hand-eye coordination (more reasons to discourage too much screen time). But the big reason kids were missing key developmental skills was because they missed out on crucial interaction with parents.

Do we really need an expert to tell us that our kids need our love and attention?

It’s the one element that everyone always seems to agree on, regardless of the study. Experts argue about the effects of entertainment media until they’re blue in the face (although I’ve never actually seen someone turn blue when arguing about entertainment media), but they’ll always all agree on this one conclusion. Interaction with Mom and Dad is crucial.

Maybe your kids aren’t toddlers anymore. Maybe they’re tweens or teens. Then quantity time matters even more.

Have you connected with your kids face to face this week?

Focus Interviews Me about Bullying

Posted on: 10/29/18 1:50 PM | by Jonathan McKee

This Thursday and Friday Focus on the Family will be airing a two-day radio show where they interview me about how parents and teachings can prevent bullying.

Here’s just a quick snippet:

Here’s Continue reading “Focus Interviews Me about Bullying” »

View from the Edge

Posted on: 10/16/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Some of you might have caught the exclusive excerpt of my new book I posted on our parents site last week. The following is ANOTHER excerpt from the first chapter of my brand new book, The Bullying Breakthrough, releasing this month…  the first book where I finally tell my story…

Chapter 1: View from the Edge

“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

We’ve all heard it. We all had teachers who reiterated it. “…word will never hurt me.”

Complete foolishness.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I probably don’t even need to give you thirteen reasons why Continue reading “View from the Edge” »

Helping Teens Press Pause

Posted on: 06/12/18 1:00 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Whenever I talk with young people about their mobile devices I ask, “How many of you think people are spending too much time staring at their devices?” An overwhelming majority of hands will go up.

Yet if you followed those same teens for 24 hours, you’d probably catch them “spending too much time staring at their devices.” (And before we start labeling anyone hypocritical… adults are in the same boat).

Let’s review. Teens are aware that phones monopolize too much of their time, but they aren’t really doing much about it.

So why not Continue reading “Helping Teens Press Pause” »

Four conversations parents must have

Posted on: 04/17/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

As requests are coming in for speaking this fall, I wanted to let you know about a new workshop I’m launching… FOUR CONVERSATIONS! It’s the first parent workshop I’m doing where I have parents and kids in the same room!

Right now my go-to workshop for parents is PARENTING THE SMARTPHONE GENERATION… I taught this workshop in almost 30 churches in the U.S. last year Continue reading “Four conversations parents must have” »

Lil Dicky gets a lil raunchy (and how parents should respond)

Posted on: 04/10/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The song debuted in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The music video is full of celebrity cameos and has already garnered over 100 million views. When I mentioned that particular song speaking at a church last Sunday morning, teens in the audience literally shouted, “Yeah!” in acclamation (and I mentioned about a dozen songs).

I’m talking about the brand new racy music video from Lil Dicky, Freaky Friday, where Lil Dicky wakes up as Chris Brown and Chris Brown as Lil Dicky. The music video is creative, kids think it’s hilarious, and it’s full of sexual references and imagery. Continue reading “Lil Dicky gets a lil raunchy (and how parents should respond)” »

Where to Get Practical Parenting Help

Posted on: 02/6/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In two hours (at 9AM Pacific time) several thousand parents will receive our FREE “Parenting Help” email which always contains three helpful resources for today’s parents. Take a peek… because you might want to make sure this helpful resource is hitting your inbox twice a month:

  1. This “Parenting Help” email always includes our newest “Parenting Help” article, like the one I just wrote with three tools to engage your kids to not only remove their headphones… but tune you in. I always write these articles based on the biggest questions I’m hearing from parents online and at my parent workshops. We have an entire page of these articles that hopefully do exactly what the title implies… “help parents” with practical tools they need. Look at the last five articles I’ve written Continue reading “Where to Get Practical Parenting Help” »

Mom, Is Justin Bieber a Christian?

Posted on: 01/9/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s a question kids are asking, and a question Moms don’t quite know how to answer.

Similar to the question, “Mom, is Chance the Rapper a Christian?” …you can’t help but wonder, who am I to even answer that question?

But it’s being asked.

Maybe we’re confused because we’ve read about Justin’s troubles with the law (from 2014 granted) or heard him singing and collaborating on some pretty worldly tracks (okay, maybe that’s a little more recent)… and then moments later we see him unashamedly dancing to worship music or posting a powerful Instagram post praising Jesus for “changing me from the inside out.” Continue reading “Mom, Is Justin Bieber a Christian?” »

Answering top questions from today’s parents PART III

Posted on: 11/16/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In PART I and PART II of this series we already tackled some of the big questions today’s parents are asking…

How do I regulate screen time with a high functioning autistic kid?

When your kids push you away and go silent, how do you reconnect?

Is there a way to receive your kids’ texts directly on your device?

These are just a few of the countless questions I just received from parents… and for three days I’ve been answering them in this blog. Each day I’m narrowing it down to the top 10.

Here are the final 10 answers to the last 10 questions… Continue reading “Answering top questions from today’s parents PART III” »

Answering top questions from today’s parents PART II

Posted on: 11/15/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday we already tackled some of the big ones…

What age do you recommend allowing children on social media?

Is there a way to filter the stories on SnapChat?

How do you prevent sexting?

These are just a few of the countless questions I just received from parents… and for three days I’m going to answer all of them in this blog. Each day I’m going to narrow it down to the top 10. (See yesterday’s 10 answers HERE.)

Here are today’s 10 answers to 10 questions… Continue reading “Answering top questions from today’s parents PART II” »