Parents Weigh in on Screen Time Habits as Kids Go Back to School: Moms and Dads Say Mobile Devices are the New Babysitter

New GALXYZ Survey Shows How Parents Regulate their Kids’ Screen

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Most parents are guilt-free when it comes to using smartphones and
tablets as a “babysitter” according to a new study conducted by Harris
Poll on behalf of educational game developer, GALXYZ. The online survey
of 1,000 U.S. parents taken in early August revealed interesting insight
into how moms and dads regulate their kids’ screen time. Surprisingly,
the survey found that while 59 percent of parents don’t feel guilty
about using mobile devices as a “babysitter,” most moms and dads (58
percent) are still concerned about the amount of hours their children
are spending in front of the screen.

The survey also indicated that all screen time is not equal in parents’
eyes as they found some activities much more useful to their children’s
educational development than others. When it comes to good screen time
versus bad screen time, educational gaming (90%), reading e-books (92%)
and conducting research for homework (95%) all received high marks,
while streaming video content and surfing social media sites didn’t make
the grade (42% each).

“It’s interesting to see that while parents are beginning to let go of
the guilt when it comes to using mobile devices to keep their kids
occupied, they’re still focused on making the most of their kids’ screen
time,” said Osman Rashid, founder and CEO of GALXYZ. “With the rise of
educational apps and games, there are more options than ever before for
parents to make screen time both fun and educational for their children.”

Other notable findings from GALXYZ’s screen time survey include:

Mobile Devices are the New Babysitter – Especially for Older Parents

  • Older parents feel less guilty about using mobile devices as a
    “babysitter” than millennial parents; 71 percent of parents over the
    age of 45 are guilt-free compared to 43 percent of millennial parents
    (aged 18 – 34)
  • Moms vs. Dads: 62 percent of dads and 56 percent of moms said
    they don’t feel guilty about using mobile devices as a “babysitter”

Monitoring Screen Time

  • Monitoring kids’ screen time is still important to parents of all ages
    – 58 percent of parents say they’re concerned about the amount of
    hours their children spend on non-educational activities on their
    mobile devices
  • Moms vs. Dads: Dads are more concerned than moms – 63 percent
    of dads expressed concerns while 55 percent of moms expressed concerns

How Many Hours Are Kids Spending in front of the Screen?

  • Nearly two in five (39 percent) parents allow their kids a whopping
    two to three hours of screen time per day
  • 37 percent of parents allow one hour or less of screen time per day,
    14 percent allow three to four hours of screen time per day and only
    11 percent allow more than four hours of screen time per day
  • Moms vs. Dads: Moms appear to be stricter than dads – 45
    percent of moms allow their kids 1 hour or less of screen time per day
    while only 27 percent of dads cut screen time that short

Good Screen Time vs. Bad Screen Time for Educational Development

  • 90 percent of parents think that educational games are useful to their
    children’s educational development – with 93 percent of millennial
    parents finding them useful
  • 92 percent of parents said that reading e-books is useful to their
    children’s educational development
  • Most parents (58 percent) don’t consider streaming videos a useful use
    of screen time when it comes to their kids’ educational development
  • Of the activities included in our survey, parents found surfing social
    media sites to be the least helpful use of screen time – with 86
    percent of moms and 71 percent of dads agreeing that social media is
    not useful for their kids’ educational development

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of GALXYZ from August 5-12, 2015 among 1,009 parents
ages 18 and older who have children ages 0-17 in the household. This
online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no
estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete
survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

For an infographic and additional details, visit the GALXYZ blog:


GALXYZ Blue Apprentice is an intergalactic science adventure and mobile
game featuring a young scientist who explores alien worlds and applies
science learning to solve problems.  Blue Apprentice encourages mastery
of elementary science concepts and develops scientific reasoning for
elementary school kids. Conforming to Next Generation Science
Standards-based curriculum, the game can be used in parallel with
classroom learning by parents and teachers. GALXYZ Blue Apprentice’s
mission is to ignite a fascination for science and unlock the true
potential in every child.

For additional information, please visit

About The Harris Poll

Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With
comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion
polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’
motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand
recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio
of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into
actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health
care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial
services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged
goods. Contact
us for more information.


Jill Asher, 650-520-8512