There are so many questions regarding digital media’s impact on a child’s development. How does it affect their mental and physical health? We know there are consequences of too much media exposure for children’s minds, physical health, and social wellbeing, but how much is too much? And what about the quality of the media children absorb starting at a young age? Most parents, grandparents, and providers struggle daily to make decisions about how to set limits on screen time, no matter what age a child is.
Kris Perry, Executive Director of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, most recently served as Senior Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom of California and Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency where she led the development of the California Master Plan for Early Learning and Care and the expansion of access to high-quality early childhood programs. She led systems change efforts at the local, state and national levels in her roles as executive director of First 5 San Mateo, First 5 California, and of the First Five Years Fund. Through it all, Perry has fought to protect children, improve and expand early learning programs, and increase investments in low-income children. Perry was instrumental in returning marriage equality to California after the landmark 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Hollingsworth v. Perry, which she wrote about in her book, Love on Trial (Roaring Forties Press, 2017).
There is an unreasonable expectation placed on parents, and it’s time to advocate for better policies for the health and well being of all children. Economist Nate Hilger argues that the solution to many of our nation’s biggest social and economic problems is within reach. “We must provide richer professional support to parents in the form of greater access to teachers, tutors, counselors, coaches, and health care workers.” Nate Hilger will share highlights from his forthcoming book The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis, in which he shows why parenting is harder and more important than previously understood and what it will take to get parents the resources they need to set up all children for success.
Nate Hilger is a researcher and writer, and author of The Parent Trap. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and a PhD in economics from Harvard University. He has worked as a professor of economics at Brown University, and is currently an economist and data scientist in Silicon Valley and an affiliate of the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown. In 2020 he served as a lead policy consultant on early childhood and non-K12 child development issues for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. His academic research on child development and inequality has been published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics and other leading peer-reviewed journals, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media outlets. He lives with his wife and son in Redwood City, California. You can read more about The Parent Trap in the SF Chronicle or The Hill.