Getting a cell phone has become something of a childhood rite of passage. Parents often struggle with how soon is too soon, with the average child now receiving their first phone at age 10 and their first social media accounts by age 12.
Tagged With screen time
iOS 12 is out, and a lot of people are suddenly realising that they spend way too much time on their smartphones. Way. Too. Much. Time.
That’s all thanks to the Screen Time feature you’ll find within your device’s Settings menu — right under “Do Not Disturb”. Tap it, and your iPhone or iPad will give you all sorts of scary information: How many hours you’ve spent glued to it, what you did, and even how much you picked it up (to the hour, even).
Parents, to curb your kid's phone usage, you may no longer need to hold their chargers hostage, yell out nightly countdowns ("Three more minutes!") or draft up elaborate tech contracts that you'll look at exactly once. At least, if you're on Apple devices. The new iOS 12 parental controls are here, and they allow you to manage your children's screen time — set app time limits, block off chunks of "downtime" and track their daily habits — all from your own phone. Here's what you can do, and how to do it.
Caroline Ingeborn is the president and chief operating officer of Toca Boca, which makes digital toys designed around the way kids play. (My five-year-old loves giving buzzcuts in Toca Hair Salon, bandaging doves in Toca Pet Doctor, and making weird milkshake concoctions in Toca Kitchen.)
Ingeborn, who moved to the US from Sweden to help open the the company’s San Francisco office, believes the gaming space has a huge responsibility to create more inclusive products. She talks to us about balancing her career and being a mum to a toddler, with a new baby on the way. Here’s how she parents.
Frickin’ Fortnite. Your kids won’t stop playing it, and you’re fed up. What do you do? You could join one of the many parent support groups, or make a musical parody to vent your frustrations, or try locking the game consoles in the car and hiding the key (yes, this is really happening).
Or you can play, too.
You may want to spend less time on sites like Facebook and YouTube, but actually doing it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. HabitLab is an open-source project from Stanford that attempts to make cutting back on habit-forming sites a little bit easier.
Even just a couple of years ago, the message to new parents was pretty clear: Screens, for the most part, aren't good for kids, so stay away. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that kids not experience any screen time until at least age two, and then after that, they suggested keeping it very limited.
When I was a child there weren't many options for entertainment after school or on weekends: I could walk to a friend's house. I could watch TV on our 13 fuzzy channels. Or I could read. And so I read, and read, and read -- hours and even whole days would pass with no interruptions. I didn't have any choice but to concentrate.
There are a lot of numbers you have to keep in mind when you're raising a kid: Their height and weight. How many millilitres of milk they're drinking, at first, and then how many fruits and veggies they're eating, how much outdoor play they're getting, and of course, how many minutes a day they spend glued to a device.
Smartphones are a part of life these days, and if your kid doesn't use one now, they probably will before long. But with a great device comes great responsibility. The Smart Talk is a website that helps parents and kids come up with a set of phone rules together, and creates a handy agreement you can print out.
Not long ago, paediatricians recommended limiting the amount of time kids spend on phones and tablets to just one or two hours a day, with toddlers getting none at all. That has changed, and now parents are supposed to make sure kids have a healthy relationship with their devices. Where do you begin? Here are a few ways to approach the task.
Any time a new technology is introduced, it disrupts values, routines and behaviours. This goes back well before the printing press replaced oral histories or the telephone replaced face-to-face conversations, but is evident today in our regular habits of checking our smartphones for notifications. Kids are growing up with the expectation of auto-playing streaming videos and having access to our phones when we need them to be quiet.