It all boils down to whether children view app blockers as a measure of safety or surveillance.
As parents, we want the best for our child. With the prevalence of smartphones and its increased usage among children nowadays, it’s normal for us parents to worry about our child’s online safety.
As such, the block apps feature serves as a great way to protect your child from being exposed to controversial content and addictive applications. Blocking apps can also be beneficial in curbing your child’s temptations to use social media applications everyday. It saves them from being glued to their phones, at the expense of time spent with friends, family and on their academics.
Given their benefits, how do children feel about the block apps function?
Unfortunately, while parents’ minds are at ease knowing their child is safe on the internet, children feel increasingly constricted with app blockers. According to a study by researchers, 35% of the children felt that apps were too restrictive. Furthermore, some app blockers were so restrictive that the children were unable to access their school resources, such as their homework.
Children want privacy – or need them?
Some children have also left reviews on parental control apps stating that parents are infringing on their privacy. In this tech-savvy generation, the conversations children have mainly reside in Whatsapp chats or Instagram DMs (direct messaging tool). It is one of the ways they can connect with their friends and catch up with them when they are swamped with school assignments or external commitments. When parents install app blockers, children lose the opportunity to communicate freely or create memories.
Understanding the reasons why many children dislike to block apps is more than the fact that they limit screen time and privacy. Children are in the process of constructing their social identity online by figuring out when and how to reveal information about themselves through online communication. Surveillance from parents places more stress on children, because they can now track their every move.
It is a natural parental instinct to find out what your child is up to – but should it come at the cost of their personal space?
What can parents do to ensure block apps are used in a more constructive manner?
Transform the chiding into positive words of encouragement.
Sometimes as parents, what we say is not what our children want to hear. At the dinner table, we might want to cry out ‘Hey Jack, stop using your phone!’ Negative sounding words like ‘stop’ and ‘don’t’ can make it difficult to get through to children. What they might prefer to hear is ‘Hey Jack, would you mind using your phone after dinner instead? Thank you.’’
The words you use with your children have a significant impact on the way they behave. It has been proven their behavioral characteristics are influenced by the way they are treated by their parents, in addition to their genetic makeup. Hence, if your child doesn’t realize that their addiction is a problem, it is essential that parents use positive words and communicate with them before downloading app blockers on their phones.
All in all, block apps are useful in terms of controlling unhealthy habits. Some teens even download such apps themselves to limit their screen time usage. However, it is important to consider what your child is going through before making a decision. It would also be of benefit to explain the block apps function so that it helps your child better understand your intentions.
The planoApp has a block apps feature that allows you to prevent your child from accessing certain apps. There’s also a device schedule function which gives you the ability to determine when your child can use their devices. These features are, however, subject to your device’s technical specifications.