How do parents around the world feel about their kids’ TV and screen time?

Using some of our past research (conducted pre-Covid) on parents of kids age 12 and under, we learned the following:

TV brings families together. Globally, most parents (84%) believe that watching TV together is great for family bonding time. In fact, watching TV is seen as the #1 activity for bringing the family together. Kids are also influencing this shared viewing, with 60% of parents saying their child usually controls what is on the TV when they watch together.

Parents pay attention to what their kids are watching on TV and doing online. Most parents take an interest in their children’s TV habits, with 84% saying they are involved in their child’s TV viewing. In relation to kids’ online interactions, nearly all parents (91%) say they pay attention to who their child talks to online. And overall, parents feel that what their kids are doing on the internet shouldn’t be private from them. More than 8 in 10 parents believe that monitoring children’s online activity should be more of a priority than respecting their privacy.

Parents see the benefits of screen time, in moderation. On the one hand, 80% of parents say they limit screen time for their child as much as possible. On the other, many parents use screen time strategically – 58% use it as a reward for good behavior and 53% use screens to distract or calm down their child. And interestingly, many see the benefits of video games – two-thirds believe that they can be good for a child’s development.