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Cayman Parent | Articles | Expert Advice | CP Tips | Strategies for Controlling Screen Time

CP Tips | Strategies for Controlling Screen Time

Screentime for Children Technology

 

6 helpful tips & tactics for controlling screen time:

Have an open and honest discussion

Rather than simply taking the device away or setting rules, make it a two-way discussion. Most children will have some experience of classmates or peers with screen addiction. Be open about the dangers and why screen time needs to be controlled, and discuss how these devices can and should be used outside the classroom.

 


Tale the virtual into reality

There are plenty of ways to take the games and characters children know out of their digital form and make them real. Simple games like Angry Birds can be played in real life with a simple slingshot and empty cans or boxes as targets. Why not have children draw their favourite characters, or make their costumes and recreate the game?

 


Find apps to get them out and about

If they’re going to use apps, find ones that require movement and a connection to the natural world. Star gazing apps are a great way to get kids excited about the night sky, and plant and animal identification apps will stimulate their curiosity about the world.

Practise what you preach

Parents need to lead by example. Not allowing your children to do something while you do it yourself is unlikely to be well received. Adults are in just as much danger of becoming screen-obsessed as their offspring, and children certainly don’t want to feel they are competing with a phone or computer for their parents’ attention.

 


Establish tech-free times and zones

Make sure that certain times, such as meal times, are tech-free all round: everybody leaves their phones and tablets in a different room, the TV is switched off, and the family eats and talks together.

  • Setting tech free areas – bedrooms in particular – will also help to ensure kids are not over-stimulated immediately prior to bedtime, and will not stay up late gaming and texting.
  • A TV-free night once a week can also be a great opportunity for the family to enjoy quality time together playing board games, doing jigsaw puzzles or working on some kind of shared project.

Make use of parental controls

Use the parental controls to block or filter internet content: Operating systems all have built-in parental controls and you can set restrictions in your browser to filter the content your children can access.

Knowing what your child is watching, websites they are browsing, who they are calling and the texts they are sending is essential to keep your children safe.

Here are some suggestions on the most up-to-date software and websites to help you.

 

Circle with Disney: www.meetcircle.com

This device recognises and manages every wired and wireless device on your home network.

Cost: US$95.99

 

K9 Web Protection: www1.k9webprotection.com

Set time limits, block websites, safe web searches, get reports.

Cost: free

Net Nanny: www.netnanny.com

Parental control and internet web filtering software.

Cost: US$9 per device

 

Norton Family: www.family.norton.com

Parental control, monitoring and time supervision.

Cost: US$49.99 per year

Net Aware: www.net-aware.org.uk

Advice to parents on the Apps and social networks your kids want to download.

Cost: free

 

Kiddle: www.kiddle.co

Safe web searching platform powered by Google.

Cost: free

 

WebWatcher: www.webwatcher.com

Helps parents monitor their childs’ activity including texts, photos, calls, website history, gps history.

Cost: $99.95

 
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