Raising kids in an increasingly digital world  

By Sameer Goyal, Kidovo (Estimated reading time: 3 minutes) 

A young child lying on a bed looking captivated by a tablet. 

They say parenting is the hardest job in the world. And after talking to many new parents, it seems like there’s a new obstacle on the block — screens. Screens are not new to our world anymore; they’ve been around in the form of television for at least half a century. However, screens have truly become ubiquitous, especially for kids only after smartphones & tablets came out.

The newest generation of kids are the first to grow up with digital devices all around them. Kids today spend ever increasing time in front of screens. According to research by University at Albany, kids spend 2.5 – 3 hours per day on screens. This is in excess of recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Almost every time I go to a cafe or a restaurant, I find parents using screens to pacify their kids. Why is it that even though recommendations are clear, kids continue to spend so much time on screens? First, once kids get used to screen-time, parents have a tough time setting boundaries. Second, for all the ill effects of screen-time, it does offer a much-needed respite for parents who can reclaim some small amount of time for themselves. 

But why do kids love screens so much in the first place? The same way the internet revolutionized how we search or buy things, it has revolutionized entertainment for kids. Today’s kids have access to nearly infinite amounts of content for every possible topic. Traditional toys are unable to provide kids with similar levels of continued entertainment and so kids keep going back to screens. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises families to “limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programming, co-view with your children, [and] help children understand what they are seeing.” This seems to be one way of making kids’ screen-time productive. However, this also takes up more of parents’ time, leaving them exhausted. There is another alternative: active and interactive screen-time

Not all screen-time is equal. There are options available that can offer better screen-time for kids and more free time for parents. Platforms that can turn passive consumption of content into active participation from kids, where kids can participate and engage their mind and body. Not only do interactive platforms help in making the screen-time productive, they can potentially help in reducing screen addiction. Kids spend more energy participating in interactive activities and can get tired earlier as opposed to passive consumption. 

A collage of photos of kids using Kidovo on their tablets, surrounded by images of the Kidovo mascot Ovo the owl. 

That is why we created Kidovo, a personalized, interactive app for kids where kids learn while having fun. We take content from the best kids’ content creators like SciShow Kids, Kiboomers, Learning Mole and add fun educational activities where your child taps on the screen, responds with their voice, and even colors on the screen. Our mascot, Ovo the owl, will be your child’s digital buddy, and engage and talk with them and fulfill your co-viewing responsibilities when you need time off. 

As digital devices have made all of us much more productive, I’m hopeful that together we will find ways to make them an asset in our kids’ lives as well. 

About the Author

Sameer Goyal is the founder of Kidovo, a personalized interactive app where kids learn while having fun. Sameer was in Seattle from 2017 to 2021 and got introduced to PEPS by his friends. He is passionate about kids and started Kidovo in 2022 to help kids avoid screen addiction and make digital devices a positive influence in their lives. He has been a big believer in the importance of the work done by PEPS and decided to partner with them through his venture. 

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