VP of AT&T Southeast States: Screen Time for Kids, Peace of Mind for Parents

Cara Fields

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

Now that childhood has gone high-tech, some parents feel guilty about all that screen time. If you are a parent nodding your head in agreement, you are not alone.

A new survey by Recon Analytics revealed that 62 percent of parents feel a level of guilt when giving their child a device.

The survey found the potential behavioral impact was a top concern of parents. Other reasons for guilt include possible access to inappropriate content, fear of judgment from other parents, and impending visual problems from blue light. 

However, as most parents who have survived a trans-Atlantic flight or a long road trip with a young child will tell you, sometimes reality hits and you must hand over your phone or tablet to keep them occupied. Sigh.

Yet the same survey found nearly 80 percent of parents expressed more comfort in purchasing a device for their child if they could control settings directly from their phones.

Does such a thing exist? As a mom and a mentor, I have wondered this myself. “How to protect our kids online” comes up during dinner conversations with friends or family. Questions like, who can contact my kid? How do I block content and what can they see online? Parenting groups and bloggers discuss the same things because protecting our children in the digital age is a universal experience. 

Several of my colleagues had the opportunity to help develop and test the first kids' tablet and app that puts parents in control. Full disclosure, I work for AT&T. My son is away in college, but like any parent when he was young, I grappled with giving him flexibility while maintaining control.

Employees and their families developed and tested the AT&T amiGO Jr. Tab™ and AT&T amiGO™ app (amigo, like a friend). It’s different from any other tablet on the market because it has a free accompanying app for parents, which allows them to control their child’s browsing and online playtime. It also offers location monitoring, secure messaging, voice calls, and video calling with parent-approved contacts.

For example, you can get real-time location information and set SafeZones to receive notices when your child enters or leaves a predefined area.

The tablet and app are the first of several solutions AT&T plans to launch so parents can monitor their children’s digital experience while providing children a safe way to explore.

Parents at AT&T are excited about AT&T amiGO™ because they can relate. When we needed guidance or a solution, we listened to our customers and employees. We held internal focus groups with parents and hosted neighborhood parties for families. We asked kids about their interests and what’s important to them.  

Customers told us they wanted a safe, affordable, and educational device for kids – and we developed something revolutionary to fill that need. The tablet provides parents with a controlled and reliable option for their children’s digital adventures. 

Technology is inevitable. Whether you are planning how to keep your young ones entertained during summer travel or looking for educational opportunities to combat summer learning loss, there are new ways to navigate your child’s digital experience with you at the helm. Visit  https://ScreenReady.att.com/toolkit for resources.