Apple Makes Tech Parenting Easier
Last June 4, Apple announced the release of a new software update called iOS12. There must be quite a few moms on Apple’s team because one of the latest features is a built-in tool called “Screen Time”.
Yes, moms, it does exactly as its name says. “Screen Time” helps parents monitor the amount of time kids spend on phones and tablets.
According to Apple, this is what “Screen Time” does:
- Provides detailed information and tools to help you understand and control the time kids spend on apps and websites.
- Daily and weekly Activity Reports that show the total time spent in individual apps, usage across categories of apps, and how often the iPhone or iPad is picked up for a “quick check.”
- Gives parents access to their child’s Activity Reports right from their own iOS devices using Family Sharing in iCloud.
- View and control the notifications being sent to your child’s iPhone or iPad.
- Allows parents to schedule times to limit gadget time.
There are many problems with unrestricted gadget use. First, the Internet is a carnival of inappropriate language and content. Second, it’s bad for the posture and for the eyes as it’s been found to cause near-sightedness in children. Third, it has a negative effect on child development. Experts say that TV, computers, tablets, and smart phones are not good for children under 2 years of age as it can contribute to language delay and poor memory. Lastly, it poses a risk for behavior problems. Psychologists say that suggestive themes, violence, and foul language can have a lasting effect on children.
Let’s hope that Apple’s iOS 12 helps us in our quest to veer our kids away from phones and pads. But in the meantime, here are some tips to start limiting your child’s screen time ASAP:
- Be a good role model of gadget time. Checking your phone often throughout the day teaches kids bad habits. Let’s put our phones away and focus on active play.
- Set a schedule for screen time. Establish times when gadgets are allowed. Say, after homework is done on weekdays, or after chores are finished on weekends. And likewise, set aside times for the entire family to disconnect. Dinner and bedtime are perfect gadget-free zones to allow everyone to spend quality time together.
- Make them earn screen time. Make a list of tasks they can do around the house to earn a few minutes. Think of it as an incentive program.
- Keep communication lines open. Sit your child down and explain the dangers of too much screen time. In fact, when iOS12 comes out, older kids can be shown their Activity Reports to help them be more aware of the time they’ve spent on games and social media.
Apple has scheduled the release of iOS12 by the end of June. If you’re an Apple user, let us know about your “Screen Time” experience once your phone updates.