Reflections on My Children’s Screen Time | Janell Burley Hofmann | 3 Min Read

In my work with children, teens, and their families, one of the biggest categories of questions and concerns is screen time. Sometimes families want to be prescribed the “right” amount of time. Often families want to make sure that they aren’t doing their digital lives “wrong.” Mostly, families want some general guidelines and to be reassured and empowered to make decisions that feel right to them. The one challenge with the screen time questions is that there is no one size fits all answer, no right and wrong. Every family and child is unique and the way we interact and use our screens is unique, personal, and individual too. Also, not all screen time is created equal. It is nuanced and needs context. This can be quite anxiety-provoking because we’re learning, changing, and improving as we go and not all-knowing. But, it is actually quite normal to have screen use as a dynamic part of family life, not fixed. It shifts with our circumstances, growing right along with our family like any other part. 

As a mother of five teenagers who love their screens, I can often feel overwhelmed by digital parenting too (and I think, write, and speak…

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Janell Burley Hofmann

Janell Burley Hofmann is an international author, speaker and consultant specializing on the topics of technology, media, health, relationships and well-being. Janell is the creator of the original iPhone contract and a thought leader in the space of digital mindfulness, digital parenting and intentional use of tech. She is the author of the book, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up published by Rodale, Inc. Janell is the founder of the Slow Tech Movement and iRules Academy. Janell has worked on four continents across diverse demographics, cultures, religions, and socioeconomics. Sensitive to the needs of each community, Janell works with schools, youth, families, educators, and organizations while offering private coaching and consulting sessions. Janell’s professional expertise and personal experience as a mother of five children builds strong connections with a wide and varied population. Janell engages readers, clients and audiences in relevant and meaningful conversations igniting personal empowerment, awareness and purpose in a partnership that will positively impact all. Janell’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies, a Master’s Degree in Critical and Creative Thinking and she is currently working towards her licensure in mental health counseling. Her featured talks include two-time TEDx presenter, SxSW, YPO Southeast Asia Summit, Peace Corp Workshop Leader, Homecoming Day Nagoya University, Nagoya Japan, YPO Middle East Tour, Women2Women International Summit and MIT Strata Center. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Good Morning America, USA Today, National Public Radio, BBC News and The Associated Press.