Parenting in the screen age: I want my kids to feel loneliness and boredom

As kids and adults live increasingly through their screens, what messages are we sending to those we love IRL?

We were those parents. The anti-screen parents. Our eldest child, now nine, wasn’t parked in front of a screen until she was three, despite various older rellies shoving iPhones in her face at every opportunity. When we did switch the TV on – I remember the occasion with the same clarity my parents remembered the moon landing – it was to watch The Snowman, a gentle, near-silent half hour of seasonal animation from 1984. Further viewing was carefully curated towards the old and the slow and away from the hypercolour frenetics of modern kids telly.

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