While IPhones and other iOS devices are brilliant ways to entertain, educate, and keep your children safe, they do have the downside of being addictive. For a parent, the sight of your little ones mesmerized by glowing rectangles for extended periods of time is not a happy one.
But, there are ways to limit this exposure and ensure that your child gets up off their backside every once in a while. We show you a few easy ways to control the amount of time your kids spend with their screens.
FamiSafe screen time control feature helps parents to which blocks access to all third party apps including games and social media apps with one-click, set up screen time limit on hourly basis, and report how long your kid’s device has been used. For iPhones, it is compatible with the iPhone/iPod/iPad with iOS 9 and above.
To monitor the screen time of your kids with Famisafe, the first and most important thing is to communicate with your kid first. Both parents and kids should mutually understand the need of using FamiSafe parental control service.
If your kid uses an android phone or tablet, you will need to allow several permission requests during the installation process so that FamiSafe could work properly. Then on your own phone sign in as “Parent” using the same account. FamiSafe will automatically connect your kid’s device.
2). Turn on Screen Time on your iPhone
When Apple launched its iOS 12 operating system, it introduced Screen Time – a function which tracks exactly how much time you spend engaging with your phone. Accessible via ‘Settings’, you have to turn Screen Time on for it to start recording your data.
When you do, it’ll record how long you spend each day on your phone, breaking it down into different categories including ‘social networking’, ‘productivity’, ‘entertainment’ and more. You can probably guess which category is my most used…
Plus, you can set limits for each category, meaning it’ll block you from using the apps and functions that fall under that umbrella until the following day (although you’ll have to exercise some discipline in not just clicking ‘ignore limit for today’ every time it notifies you you’ve reached your limit).
3). Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years.
Not only will this modeling help to reduce your children’s and adolescents’ overall screen time, but it prioritizes face-to-face interactions through conversation and active play.
4). Switch off iPhone’s ‘Raise To Wake’ feature
iPhone owners will be aware that whenever they pick up their phone, the lock screen will appear, displaying any notifications waiting for you. You’ll probably also be aware how distracting this can be; you only picked up your phone to check the time, and now you’re down a Whatsapp hole, replying to the 45 messages your friends (who clearly don’t have jobs to go to) have been busy sending you over the past half hour.
But there’s a way to reduce that distraction, and the accumulating screen time that goes with it: switch off the ‘Raise To Wake’ setting that enables your iPhone to turn on every time you pick it up. Here’s how to do it: Settings > Display > Brightness > switch Raise to Wake toggle off.
5). Disable autoplay on streaming services
Binging TV shows takes up a lot of our time these days, but there’s a simple way you could reduce your temptation to devour episode after episode each night. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are automatically set to have autoplay on, meaning when you reach the end of one episode, it’ll give you a short countdown before playing the next one.
By disabling this, you’ll have to make the conscious decision to click ‘play’ and watch the next episode, increasing the likelihood you might decide you actually have more productive (non-screen-related things) you could be doing instead.
6). Set Whatsapp to Vacation Mode
We all know you can mute Whatsapp groups to stop being notified of all the incessant chat going on in your groups, but Whatsapp is reportedly introducing a setting that helps people go one step further when they want to switch off (without actually switching your iPhone off – we wouldn’t go that far).
Currently, it’s still in development, but when Vacation Mode (will they call it Holiday Mode for us in the UK?) launches, it’ll mean you get no notifications about messages even when you open the app – they get immediately archived. Only when you switch Vacation Mode back off will your missed messages come flooding through.
7). Download Freedom
If you’re not quite prepared to go the whole hog of locking your phone entirely, there’s another app that might work better for you. Freedom works across multiple devices (so you can use it on your phone, tablet and computer) to block certain sites or apps for a set amount of time, ensuring you aren’t distracted by them.
Freedom’s function to enforce blocks across more than one device means you can’t cheat the system by logging on to Topshop’s website on your phone when you’ve already blocked it on your laptop.
8). Download Siempo
We’re simple creatures, really, and that means part of the reason we get so captured by our phone home screens is because of how ~colourful~ they are. Siempo, an app currently only available on Android phones, changes that.
Siempo transforms your smartphone home screen into a more intentional and less distracting digital experience by literally simplifying it with a black and white display minus all the distracting app icons that represent your apps. As well as that, it enables you to select ‘batch notifications’, so you’ll get them all in one go at specified intervals.
It can randomise the location of your distracting apps, making it hard to find and open them, and it also offers the opportunity to include an ‘intention’ – a personalised you’ll see every time you unlock your phone – that would be helpful to read dozens of times each day.
9). Use a dedicated screen time app
There are a few different apps that can automatically limit the time children spend on their devices. These include Kidslox, Boomerang, Kids Place, and MM Guardian. Android itself also contains a variety of settings that can help keep your kids safe online and restrict their usage.
10). Use a dedicated tablet or phone
If you’re in the market for a new device, then it might be worth considering one with parental controls built-in. The most popular by far are the Amazon Fire HD 10, Fire HD 8 and Fire 7, not only because they offer excellent value for money, but mainly due to the Fire for Kids feature.
This allows parents to set up profiles for each of their kids, and specify how long they can use the device each day. There are also granular controls, so individual apps can be banned or have limited access, while reading apps can be given unlimited time.
11). Set real-world incentives and restrictions
If you don’t want to abrogate responsibility to software then there are still helpful ways to entice your progeny away from their devices.
We’ve seen some success with family device-free days, where everyone surrenders their technology and stares at each other in embarrassed silence for hours on end. These can be made a little easier by playing some great board games together.
Other methods that have worked for some parents are locking devices away every evening and then returning them once homework and chores have been completed, or creating reward charts that allocate screen time for real-world achievements and tasks such as making their bed or helping with the washing up.
It’s a more hands-on approach, that’s for sure, and not always easy, but that’s parenting in a nutshell really.
12). Set screen time limits
It’s helpful to have a family media plan that includes a screen-time limit for each child. Setting limits will help to set children’s expectations.
Research has shown that when parents set these limits, there is a significant reduction in their overall screen time. Of course, successful implementation requires consistency over time so children and adolescents develop a clear understanding of screen time rules.
13).Keep meals media-free
Meal time is the perfect time to connect with your children, learn about their day and share stories over food. Unplugging during meal time is helpful.
Research shows that children who watch television during meals end up with more screen time overall. A 2011 study showed that TV viewing during dinner was associated with an increase of 69 minutes per day on weekdays and 122 minutes on weekends.
Ditching devices while dining has the added bonus of improving dietary patterns. Research shows that children who use screens during meals consume less healthy food options such as fruits and vegetables, and more snack foods and sugar sweetened beverages.
14).Turn off so you can tune in
The degree to which parents use their own screen based device is associated with their children’s screen time. Avoiding screen use while engaging with your children is a great way to promote healthy behaviour.
15). Don’t use screens to control behaviour
It is tempting to use screen time as a means of controlling a child’s behaviour because it tends to result in an immediate response. However, this may cause an unintentional increase in screen use over the long term.
An example of this would be providing screen time as a reward for good behaviour or taking it away as a punishment for bad behaviour. This can cause children to put a high value on screen time, and desire more of it.
The above techniques can be used to monitor the screen time on your child’s iPhone. They can be used together or separately to control the screen time of your child.