Managing your kids' screen time: the modern parenting dilemma. Do your kids spend too much time on their phone or tablet? Are you worried about them sharing inappropriate texts or pictures? Concerned about cyberbullying or online predators?
These are concerns a lot of parents share. I know that I was worried about my kids binge watching Netflix or texting their friends late into the night. I considered downloading an app that would help me manage and monitor their screen time, but I ended up coming up with a different approach.
If you'd like to get your kids to spend less time on their screens and make good choices about their iPhone, iPad, and Android time, you may want to watch this segment I recently recorded for 207, the evening news program on Maine's NBC affiliates.
What do you think? Is an app the right approach, or is it the “nuclear option” as I described it in the segment? What have you tried in the past? What's worked and what hasn't? Let me know in the comments below, because I could use your help! 🙂
(Yes, I know this is a little off topic for us here at flyte, but many of us here are parents and we're all dealing with the same stuff, right?)
P.S. Here's the notes I put together for this segment:
Screen Time and Kids Talking Points
What are some of the concerns around screen time?
- Too much screen time can be harmful
- Sharing inappropriate info or pictures.
- Binge watching Netflix
- Online predators
Do we need an app to manager our kids' screen time?
- No, lots of other options such as check in/check out of devices, having conversations about appropriate behaviors, and trust. Apps can only play a role.
- It's tricky, because kids use their screens for communication, entertainment, and homework.
- You have to know your child. Is there an issue of safety or concern, or just you want them off their phone?
- Does your kid see it as a problem? Can you get them on board with using an app, just like as adults we use FitBit or a calorie counter to help us accomplish goals.
What type of control do we get from an app?
An app can offer several features, including:
- limiting time on a device
- restricting certain apps
- filtering certain information
- texting management
- location tracking
What are some of the apps out there:
- Norton Family Premier $49.99/yr
- Qustodio: $45/yr
- OurPact: free
One thing to note: because of the operating system, Apple gives these apps less control over other apps b/c they purposefully limit the control one app has over another.