Is your kid spending too much time in front of a screen?

Posted at 11:00 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 23:00:51-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- If your child has a smart phone,  iPod,  tablet, or video games, chances are you’ve wondered: "Is my child spending too much time in front of an electronic screen?"

We held a viewing of the movie, "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age" at FOX 17 with a group of teenagers, parents and teachers. The movie was made by Dr. Delaney Rustin, a Stanford-trained physician and mother of two.   The film delves into her own family dilemma when they debated whether or not to get their teen daughter a smart phone.

Before the movie, we asked the parents and teachers their biggest concerns about their kids spending so much time on their device.  For Meagen Russ, a fifth grade teacher and mother of three, her biggest concern was her 15-year-old’s video game playing.  He would be playing for two hours and when he'd come up from the basement after playing, he'd be agitated and irritable.

For Jill Post of Jenison, her biggest fears are the temptations of social media and what her son Chase’s friends may ask him to do. “He's looking at colleges already and if he makes one single mistake, these things don't go away,” said Post.

Heather Gauck is a Grand Rapids Public Schools teacher who specializes in students using technology in smarter ways.  While she admits all five members of her family spend too much time on their devices, she also worries what may happen if her three sons get off their devices. “I think for so many of the kids, that's their social outlet. They talk to their friends over the headset, so if we just said 'No', then what would happen?”

The movie answers all of these questions and many others, through research and statistics that show kids who develop self-control with their device will do much better in nearly every aspect of the life.  For more information on the movie, visit the website,   There is a free showing scheduled for May 25th at 6:30pm at the Detroit Opera House.  You can watch the trailer here below:

Tuesday night, we'll hear from Dr. Rustin about the methods that are working best in her own home in controlling her kids on their screens.