03/22/2013 05:13 pm ET Updated Mar 22, 2013

The Touch Screen Generation: How Much Should Parents Worry? (VIDEO)

How will your kids' use of technology affect their development? Does the time your toddler spends playing with your iPad or smartphone do more harm than good? How much should parents worry about their kids' screen time?

Hanna Rosin, senior editor at The Atlantic, appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss some of the questions she explores in her recent article “The Touch Screen Generation.” She wrote:

... as technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming more, not less, wary of what it might be doing to their children. Technological competence and sophistication have not, for parents, translated into comfort and ease. They have merely created yet another sphere that parents feel they have to navigate in exactly the right way.

Joining Rosin on HuffPost Live were three other parents, HuffPost Parents Managing Editor Farah Miller, app developer Caroline Hu Flexer and child psychiatrist Dr. Michael Anderson.

In the comments, HuffPost Live Producer Nkechi Nneji asked, “How much of this is parents feeling guilt?” She wondered if moms and dads were worried that technology was only a temporary fix -- “a band-aid” that would only come back to haunt them later.

Rosin, whose adorable 4-year-old son Gideon sat on her lap as she spoke, said guilt is only part of the dilemma for parents. “They feel like, oh my gosh, my kids have to be really good at technology, but …if I give them the wrong technology, or too much technology, I’m going to ruin them. It’s in the anxious box as opposed to the smart decisions box."

Miller noted that the blank “screen look” that appears on kids' faces when they are deeply engaged in screens troubles her. “When I see my daughter watching 'Doc McStuffins,' which is the one of the moment…I can’t even get her attention. Whereas with other games it’s kind of like they’re still there. I think that’s where it’s not just guilt. I think there is something, you can sense when your kid isn’t quite where you want them to be.”



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