How To Reach A Middle Ground For Parenting Your Tech-Obsessed Children
Technology is addictive. The more you use it, the more you want. During the pandemic, in a bid to keep kids occupied, parents ended up allowing their children to spend a lot of time on their digital gadgets and screens. Not that kids were not doing it already. The pandemic led to a significant rise in the use of screens and electronic devices. American kids under 13 and teens now use screens double of what they used to be across all age groups. 62% of U.S. teen parents reported that kids were spending more than four hours per day on their devices since the pandemic began. And this use has only increased since then.
The American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that on average, an 8- to 10-year-old spends eight hours in front of the screen. Teens, on the other hand, top the list as the excessive users of tech, spending as much as 11 hours a day on texting, gaming, and using social media.
The Harms of Tech Addiction
Controlling screen time and analyzing the damaging consequences of excessive screen usage have been a debate for quite some time now. There has been a surge in complaints about screen addiction since COVID-19. It has become a cause of concern for parents. Young children spending more than two hours a day on the screen increases the risk of childhood obesity and vision problems. Staring at screens for long periods interferes with sleep due to the blue light, as well as the excitement of getting new comments or like gives a hit of dopamine – the happy hormone. This keeps them wanting more. The harmful effects of excessive social media and its superficial aspect paired with cyberbullying, harassment, stalking, and grooming are the leading causes of depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem in children. Some become aggressive and violent as well. There are numerous studies and research to prove that.
Then, part of the confusion comes from the point that technology is being widely used in schools—especially since the pandemic. So, while dealing with a child who is already somewhat addicted to his phone and then using it for education as well, parents have it hard to maintain moderation. They might be able to watch their content at home, but it only leaves them with no option but to use an app to monitor kids' tablets in school.
Parents need to help their children, both tweens and tweens, regarding a healthy digital diet without being overly obsessive or adopting helicopter parenting. A sound approach would be switching from monitoring to mentoring. Note that monitoring is not important. But you need to educate your children as to why their tech-obsessed behavior could harm them in the long run so they can shift their habits.
Parents, You Possess the Power
Setting rules and screen time limits in terms of content and frequency can be of significant help. A popular means of doing so is via using remote monitoring apps for Android. Setting screen limits right from the time when your children get their first smartphone or tablet helps them concentrate better on their studies. Better digital routines also lower the risk of eye problems and obesity. Also, your children exhibit more positive and social behavior.
For most children, parents are their first role models. Try not to distort that image into a constantly hovering and nagging parent. You can have an impact on them.
Rather than confiscating devices or adopting an extremely strict routine to control their habits. Set a middle ground that is more than acceptable to you and your kids. Mentor them. Setting clear limits as well as expectations while providing them with proper reasoning can bring positive results. Sit down with your kids and discuss tech usage with them and try to find the right balance. For moderate monitoring, using an app to monitor kids' tablets in school could be a good start.
Before you get into that, here is how to go about it:
Age Appropriate Guide Lines
Technology guidelines for our tech-obsessed children today have become a need of the hour. However, since technology has become so prevalent, parents can have a hard time. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under two should have little to no screen exposure. Tweens and teens should not get more than two hours per day.
Be specific and consistent with these rules and state clearly when, where, and how the children should use screens. When children understand the reasoning behind a rule, they become accepting. With time, children understand better and make better choices as well in terms of digital behavior.
Healthy Media Exposure
What we feed our mind has the same impact as the food we eat. Making children understand this makes them more mindful and conscious of their content choices. Talk to them about what they see on the internet, their activities, and how it affects them. Has it been helpful or positive? You need to get them to think about how technology is impacting their minds.
Opt for Quality over Quantity
Active technology and screen time assist children in developing language, social, and memory skills. It also helps in developing hand-eye coordination as well as critical thinking. But it’s only true for quality tech tools and that, too, when used in moderation. Instead of games and social media platforms, you can opt for eBooks and educational programming.
Proper Sleep is Crucial
Technology impacts sleep patterns. Cut out screen time at least an hour before bed. The blue light from most screens lessens melatonin levels that disturb sleep and increase anxiety as well. Put away all the gadgets for charging out of the bedrooms. You do the same.
Work on Quality Family Time
Taking a break from technology and disconnecting all digital devices allows your children to have the much-needed brain rest. As a result, they become creative and explore other things. As a parent, you have to work together as a team. Create technology-free zones to foster connection, play, and creativity without involving any gadgets.
Children engage in a wide range of online activities that span from educational, creative, and fun to downright destructive. Education about responsible technology is very important that teaches children to indulge in acceptable and safe behaviors. And although you don’t need to use an app to monitor kids' tablets in school 24/7, your children should understand that you are keeping an eye, and aware of their online behaviors.
These are some simple but effective tips parents can start implementing to reduce the impacts of screen addiction. Since most youngsters use Android, it is a popular parenting choice to use remote monitoring apps for Android on their children’s phones. One such app is Xnspy that garners quite a solid repute among parental controls present in the market today. It is one of the most affordable ones presenting parents with an impressive variety of features.
Let’s briefly review this monitoring solution:
Xnspy Monitoring App
You can use Xnspy app to monitor kids’ tablets in school. The app works smoothly on both Android as well as iOS devices. Parents can ensure that their child is treading safely online by remotely keeping an eye on their smartphones or tablets. The app monitors calls, text messages, emails, contacts, locations, instant messaging apps, social media apps, multimedia, screen recording, ambient recording, and a lot more. Some of its best features are:
- With real-time location monitoring, parents can know about their children’s whereabouts. Not only that, but they can also view the recent location history and set alerts on certain areas.
- Another useful feature of the app is SMS chat monitoring. This allows parents to know if their children are getting bullied or harassed. The app lets you monitor instant messaging apps as well.
- The keylogger feature records all the keystrokes made on certain messaging applications. This lets parents know if the children are using any inappropriate keywords online.
- Parents can monitor their child’s web browsing history as well as the most frequently visited websites and bookmarked links.
- Parents can access all the incoming, outgoing, and downloaded media on the phone. You can monitor the content your child shares with friends.
Compared to other remote monitoring apps for Android, you would find that this app is quite affordable on the pocket. Users can pick from monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscription plans. The Basic Edition starts from $4.99/month and the Premium Edition starts from $7.49/month.
For the parents’ as well as the children’s sanity, parents must know what their children are doing online. Besides implementing the use of a smart app to monitor kids' tablets in school, make an effort to get involved in your child’s online activities. This way, you can track them, spend some quality time together, and understand their interests in the online world.
Sure, devices were important even before the pandemic. However, it seems like a Herculean task to spend the day without them. Parents might be tempted to give up the idea of watching their kids 24/7. However, they must know and educate their kids regarding the dangers of technology addiction and take the necessary steps to curb it.