Fun, engaging, and accessible – it’s no wonder our kids just love their smartphones. Sometimes, a little too much. What can you do as a parent if your child just can’t let go of the screen?
Wrapped around the screen
Our children socialise, learn, and even entertain themselves using those palm-sized devices that transport them to a whole new world. It’s real fun and it gives them a dopamine rush, however, the amount of time they spend on these smartphones can be alarming. You’ve probably seen your children clutching their smart devices from the moment they wake to the moment before they hit the sack, especially during this season when everyone’s confined to their homes.
Now that we don’t have a park or a playground to run to, our children run straight to their phones when they have some free time, multiplying their screen time. You don’t want to deny them of the only free time they have to unwind and relax, but you neither want to see them passing the hours by simply staring at a 2.5 inch x 5.5 inch screen.
Excessive screen time is a major issue in today’s digital world with repercussions spanning from myopia to screen addiction to device over dependency. Plano’s latest research demonstrates that as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, screen time has increased from 7.4 hours a day in March to 8.5 hours a day in May amidst stay home measures.
What to do if your child just can’t let go of the screen?
The rapid increase in screen time is alarming, but there are measures we can take to help cut some of those hours off the screen:
1. Intentional device-free time
Make it a point to be away from devices during a certain period of the day to engage in some fun device-free activities with your child. You could make it a habit to spend 3 hours after lunch baking some cookies together, colouring together, or doing a jigsaw puzzle together! Let your child know that for that set duration of time, no devices are allowed and it’s just for you and them to have some fun together.
2. Sunshine stretches
We can’t spend extended hours of time outdoors during this season, however, it’s important not to miss out on some vitamin D. Even if it’s just going by the window for a simple stretch in between hours of device use, your eyes and body will thank you. Remind your children to get off their seats every hour or so and move their body around. They can take an eye break while they’re at it too by looking out the window. So, they can give their backs a good stretch, and relax their eyes at the same time to prevent eye strain!
3. Get in their devices
When your children do need to use their devices, you can use the plano app to help remind them to take device breaks every 30 minutes, and schedule device times! The plano app is the only science-based parental control application that serves to not only manage your child’s screen time, but also prevent the progression of myopia.
If your child follows the eye break reminders consistently, he/she will earn points on the plano app which can be used to request for fun device-free items like NERF Guns and paint sets!
For all Singaporean parents, if you download the plano app any time from now till 1 June 2020, you will enjoy a FREE annual subscription of the plano app! The annual subscription of the plano app comes with the entire list of functions of features that you may find here.
This initiative is our way of showing that as a Plano family, we stand with you in these unprecedented times!
Download plano here to enjoy the full suite of parental control features now unlocked for you!