Two-Minute Warnings Work in Sports. With Kids, Not So Much
Researchers from the University of Washington’s Computing for Healthy Living & Learning Lab have come up with some counterintuitive data regarding that incredibly fraught parent-child interaction: turning off a video game or TV show. The study in question shows that giving a child a "two-minute warning" -- something countless parents have been doing ever since screens big and small began to dominate our lives -- doesn't make it easier for the kid to turn away from the screen. It makes it harder.
“We had thought that giving kids a little bit of a warning to set expectations would help things go better, and it actually made them much worse,” said the study's lead author, Alexis Hiniker.
Blaming broken technology ("Oops, sorry. The wi-fi is dead!") before taking a child's device away might work occasionally, but having tech smart enough to know when viewing time is up is a more reliable way to avoid epic battles.
“What the technology itself did made a huge difference,” Ms. Hiniker noted. “If the technology was backing the parent up, and kind of saying ‘screen time is done now,’ then things went better than if the parent just told the child ‘you’re done.’”