Smartphones are a big part of teen's lives. We give our teens smartphones so that we can keep up with them, so that they can call us in emergencies, and so that they can keep us informed about after school activities. But, as we all know phones have come a long way. They not only keep us in touch, they entertain us. With so many different apps, games and social networking apps, it is very easy to become engrossed.
Screen time is a big concern for parents of teens or younger kids with smartphones, tablets, or gaming systems. Trying to maintain a balance without causing turmoil in the home can be a sticky situation. TeenSafe has launched the #FightScreenAddiction campaign to help parents get this done.
#FightScreenAddiction is a digital campaign by TeenSafe designed to raise awareness about the dangers of screen addiction in our kids. Kids now have access to digital devices at a very early age as parents struggle to find peace and quiet and time to work, clean, or just relax. Gadgets can help us with that. However, too much screen time may impact a child's social development and school performance. And depending on when they have their faces stuck in their devices it can impact their safety. Some of the statistics can be staggering. We spend a lot more time with our screens than we may realize.
Did You Know?
- The average 8 to 10-year old child may spend up to 8 hours a day with their screens. Older children and teenagers spend more than 11 hours per day. (NYTimes)
- We know that teens text a lot. But, it's said that kids aged 12 to 17 send and receive more than 60 text messages a day. (NYTimes)
- Think your teens are asleep? Teens send an average of 34 texts a night AFTER they get in bed, contributing to sleep deprivation. (NYTimes) I prevent this my having my 13 year olds plug in their phones in to charge away from their bed.
- Up to 92% of teens go online daily. 24% of those teens are online “almost constantly.” (PEW Internet Research)
- Wondering how this affects your kids? Several studies have shown that Internet & gaming addictions can lead to atrophy in areas of the brain that govern executive function. (Psychology Today)
Of course the key is balance. Kids need to realize that it is ok to play with their devices. However, they also need downtime. It's important to do their homework, read, play games, and have some time outside.
The TeenSafe app allows parents to view all texts that teens send and receive, view the call log, view the phone's location, and view the web history. You can also view and block apps. You can even view activity on WhatsApp and Kik Messenger.
You can install TeenSafe on any iOS or Android Device. The price is $14.95/month for monitoring services. However, you can sign up for a free trial on the TeenSafe website. Need to add more than one teen? That can be done for no additional charge. It is totally worth it.
The Infographic below gives a few facts on the risks of screen addiction.
I admit that in my house I do not police screen time as much as some parents. My rule is that as long as homework is done, chores are done, and everything else that needs to be done is done, then you may play. I'm blessed with 4 very smart kids who get all As and Bs. However, some kids are affected differently. You know your kids best. If you find that they seem unusually attached to their devices, take action. Set some rules and limits.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Make sure that your kids know that homework and chores need to be done before they can become attached to mobile devices.
- Install Parental Controls to allow you to monitor what your kids are viewing and who they are texting. You should be able to adjust options to block out inappropriate content based on their age.
- Mobile devices can help with learning. Encourage them to use their mobile devices for research, to help with problems, or to collaborate with classmates.
- Set aside some family time each week to disconnect and do a family activity. This could be an outing, work around the house, gardening, playing a game, or whatever your family enjoys.
How do you handle screen time with your teens? Do you set limits? Do you use your carrier tools to set limits on texting or screen time?
Check out TeenSafe and help your teens #FightScreenAddiction.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by TeenSafe. All opinions are my own.