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 Time

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--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

Release Summary

GALXYZ PR on Screen Time Survey


Jill Asher, 650-520-8512