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opinion | Heather Hopp-Bruce

How best to prepare kids for the digital world

Let’s start a discussion between parents about screen time, one that doesn’t begin with guilt-inducing decrees, such as the two-hour daily limit proposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Few families have the luxury of “protecting” their children from all screens, so why shame them or pretend otherwise? It’s time to seriously consider how to prepare our kids for a digital future instead of vilifying it.

A first step is to move the conversation away from how much screen time to what kind of screen time. What if we divided screen time into three categories: creative, interactive, and passive, then further divided our best content by skill-building, educational, and entertainment?


This graphic is an attempt to do just that.

All of the examples highlighted are my own favorites. Are there other titles to add — or avoid? Do you have a story about how screen time has helped or hindered your child? How else should parents be getting their children ready for the digital world in which they live?

Join the discussion below.

Heather Hopp-Bruce is the Globe’s op-ed design supervisor. Her illustrated parenting blog is; follow her on Twitter @H_HoppBruce.