BCTR researcher Kimberly Kopko, director of the The Parenting Project: Healthy Children, Families, & Communities, was featured on WENY News in a special report about kids and screen time.
Kopko’s research and extension work examines parenting and family processes. The Parenting Project translates research on parenting into information to help families on topics including literacy, spanking and technology, to name a few.
In the news broadcast, Kopko said when kids spend time using technology, they miss out on important time learning interpersonal skills.
“That lack of face-to-face communication is impacting social skills and there’s no opportunity to read body language or facial cues, or to pick up on emotions because it’s simply just through a device,” she said. “If it’s a question of should I communicate using a device or not, yes you should. But you should also try to have as much of that be face to face as you can.”
To avoid using technology to keep kids entertained, Kopko recommended having activities on hand – even when you’re on the go – that do not involved screens.
“Throw a few non-electronic toys in a bag and snacks,” she said. “Snacks are critical because a lot of the meltdowns are that children are hungry. So to the extent that you can just have that little backpack or care package and hand those things to your child opposed to handing them a device.”
View the full special report.