Kids and social media- won’t live without it, can’t live without it?
Social media and group activity are a huge part of almost everybody’s lives these days and is not restricted to just one generation. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to name a few, are daily staples in within our everyday activities it would seem.
Whilst mobile phones and tablets can be a great distraction tool for the children, it can also come at a price- a child that is regularly oblivious to their surroundings can be very frustrating!
Luckily, help and advice are out there!
All network providers offer free parental control services. These can limit the content of which your children can access. You may need to check with your provider that these settings are activated.
There are many apps out there from which, as a parent, you can monitor usage and content etc. Apps such as Google Family Link, Qustodio, Family time, Screentime and Net Nanny to name but a few. Some are free and some will have a charge.
- Begin by building routines. There is a scientific link between the bluescreen emitted on a mobile and less production of melatonin which prepares our body for sleep. Children most certainly need quality sleep.
- Be frank and honest about cut off times and why the rule is there. A warning of an approaching deadline will help- snatching a phone from a ‘mid-Youtube video-watching’ child will not end well!
- All children would benefit from learning a ‘mobile phone etiquette’. For example, putting the phone down when a real person is trying to engage.
- It is also useful for them to understand when it is appropriate to use mobile if being spoken to in a potentially harmful or disturbing situation.
- Provide opportunities to engage in different activities, away from a screen, e.g., walking, swimming, crafts- whatever allows them to relax, use their imaginations and escape the technical world.
- Don’t be afraid of boredom- those imaginations will find a way to use the time and develop them as human beings!
- Building habits may take longer than breaking one, but perseverance will pay off.
And maybe we should follow the same rules ourselves. A good example makes a good lesson…..
At Flexsimba, we offer flexible plans on your terms from just £10 a month. A good way to monitor your children’s mobile phone use. One monthly payment, no topping up and unused data.