Electronic Baby Sitters Cause Parents Digital Guilt
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
April 19 2012 04:00 PM ET
Tablets and smartphones have added to list of "electronic baby sitter" options for parents. While smug moms and dads may claim their kids "don't watch TV," many of those same kids are spending time on tablets and smartphones.
"Limiting screen time once meant watching only one TV show a day. Now parents have to contend with computers , smartphones, tablets and all the accompanying apps," Rick Richter, Rucker Media's CEO, who released the results of a national survey yesterday (April 18) at an MIT conference on play.
But enforcing limits can be tough. Sometimes it's simply too tempting to hand over your iPad in exchange for a few minutes of peace. And many parents feel guilty.
The study revealed that 60 percent of children use a mobile app on their parents' devices at least four times a week and one-fourth of kids play daily — and 58 percent of parents felt guilty about it.
"But guilt can be reduced by choosing educational apps over those designed just for fun," Richter said.
Most parents have fewer than five educational apps installed on their phones or tablets. However, among parents who had 10 or more educational apps, only 42 percent felt guilty when they let their kids play.
Rucker Media launched its new free iPad app for kids, Ruckus Reader, that offers three reading levels for kids. For a subscription fee, parents can access reports on their child's reading progress.