Good Digital Parenting
Blog | May 7, 2019

Helping Families Create Healthy Digital Habits

Product Manager for Family Link, Google

Kids today are growing up with digital technology (not into it like previous generations). This, of course, brings many benefits: technology opens up the world to kids, enabling them to express their curiosity, discover new passions, and connect with loved ones near and far. But, it also presents unique challenges and new questions. How much screen time is too much? When is the right time to give my children a digital device of their own? And how can I model the habits and behaviors that I want my children to emulate?

As a parent myself, I find these challenges especially relevant - and research shows I’m not alone. A recent study commissioned by Google found that 84% of parents feel concerned about the amount of time their kids spend with digital technology, and 65% of parents globally report that they would like more information about how to use digital technology to improve their family’s wellbeing.

That's why we launched Family Link two years ago, to help parents manage how much time their kids spend on their devices, and how they spend that time. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding new features to Family Link that enable parents to set time limits on specific apps, helping their kids to make good choices about how they spend their time on screen. And because sometimes kids need just a few more minutes to finish up, parents will soon be able to award bonus screen time directly from their own device.

But more recently, this conversation has expanded beyond kids’ tech use, as more and more adults are seeking their own sense of digital wellbeing.  Our study also found that 1 in 3 adults have taken steps to improve their digital wellbeing. And parents, in particular, tend to be more concerned about the amount of time they themselves spend with digital devices.

At Google, we feel it’s our responsibility to help people and their families balance their technology use in a way that feels right for them. Last year, we announced our commitment to digital wellbeing with the introduction of features like the Android Dashboard and app timers. And just this week we announced brand new digital wellbeing features coming to Android Q, including Focus Mode, which makes it easy for people to pause access and notifications from selected apps, so that they can focus on work, school, or time with friends and family.

You can find all of our digital wellbeing tools at wellbeing.google, where we also provide additional information and resources to help you and your family create healthy digital habits, including:

  • A Conversation Guide for Families: Our conversation guide provides a framework, informed by experts, that empowers parents to discuss important tech-related topics with their children.

  • Self-Reflection Tool: Because digital wellbeing is different for everyone, we created a simple, interactive tool that enables you to reflect on your own relationship with technology and discover a unique set of tips and tools suited to your personal needs.

We’re still early in a long journey and there’s much work to be done. To discover more tips and tools designed to support you and your family, visit wellbeing.google.