She’s photogenic, her children look adorable, and everything looks on point (#goals). But there’s always more than meets the eye to the glamorous life of the Instamom.

Don’t want to miss a thing.

We always describe our young ones as digitally-charged individuals who can’t live without uploading the latest minute of their lives online, but they’re not the only ones. Adults can get caught in the vortex of the social media storm too, like parent influencers, or more commonly referred to as the Instamom.

For Instamoms, posting photos of their little ones can be a fulfilling experience – from capturing the beautiful moments to documenting their growth, creating a photograph log of your child’s journey can be enjoyable. And we see the value in it – after all, your little one’s childhood only lasts for so long. Snapping and uploading these fleeting moments also serve to update their faraway loved ones of their child’s growth.

Is it always #nofilter?

While we’d like to believe that every photo of a child with a wide-grin is a candid one, the reality paints a different story. We mums might be familiar with the struggle of taking a posed picture of a child – the restlessness, the whining, the breakdowns. How do these Instamoms combat that? And at what cost?

Mommy-blogger, Lauren, has described the process of trying to appear authentic and beautiful in pictures as “exhausting” and one that involved “kid-bribery” (think extra candy, dessert for dinner, etc.).  After all, viewers love seeing adorably-dressed, beautifully-posed photos of children.

Not everything can be covered with a beautiful filter however. Herein lies the trap of over-sharing your child’s life on social media. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with posting a picture of your little bundle of joy, raising your child online for strangers to see however can welcome unnecessary online criticism and pressure.

Lauren herself faced the brunt of comparisons made by critics and other hurtful assumptions. In the end, Lauren felt that she was posting pictures for the sake of “other peoples’ entertainment”.  Another famous Instamom of 4 children from the UK was subjected to trolling, and criticized for ‘selling her daughters’. These are just some of the consequences hidden behind every beautiful Instamom post you encounter on social media.

Enjoy the photos, but enjoy the moment for what it is more.

Smartphones and social media are fun, but we need to remember that it doesn’t control our life. We don’t have to lead the manicured Instamom life on social media with picture-perfect moments all the time. Sure, we’d want to snap a picture or two of our little ones smiling, because we want that moment to last a lifetime. And if we do, that’s great!

But if we don’t, that’s fine too because here’s the thing – some of the best moments in life go uncaptured by the camera. Not every moment in life has to be a poised, picture-perfect snap. Sometimes, all we have to do is let go of the screens, and take a simple mental snap of the beautiful moments that our children share with us.

Tracking your child’s behaviour closely can be damaging to your child’s skill development. 

If you are a Netflix binge-watcher, you might have stumbled upon the show called ‘Black Mirror’. While most of the show highlights the harsh dystopian reality of technological advancements, the episode ‘Arkangel’ particularly highlights the negative effects of excessively monitoring your child’s online activity.

‘’Arkangel’’ envisions the consequences of extreme helicopter parenting where a parent overly concentrates on their child’s experiences and activities. Usually, this results from being too protective of their child or being too competitive alongside other parents, especially in a school setting. This can result in parents using monitoring software to closely track their child’s online behaviour. 

Feeling protective of your child is often manifested in the form of ‘motherly’ instincts. The feeling of protecting and wanting the best for your children is the ultimate parenting goal. We love to share our children’s happiness but we often do not want to see them suffer. When they throw a tantrum for an ice-cream, we give them ice-cream. When they want the latest video game, we buy it for them. When they are not performing well in school, we fill their schedules with tuition classes. While these are the gestures of caring and loving parents, excessively shielding children from problems can affect their coping methods.

Being sheltered from reality can hinder your child’s coping mechanisms. 

I’m sure most parents have observed that when their children topple over, most cry and demand for attention even though they are not in pain. As a parent, it is innate for us to lovingly embrace our child. This is a great example of parents giving in to their children’s wants and thus paves the way to overparenting

Overparenting involves being excessively involved in childrens’ everyday lives, typically to protect them from difficult situations or help them succeed. Overparenting tends to deprive children of bad and negative experiences, which are crucial to a child’s emotional growth. One form of overparenting is excessive monitoring.

It is normal to safeguard your child from situations that compromise their safety, such as when they talk to strangers or go somewhere alone without anyone’s knowledge. However, if we control every friend they talk to or every online website they visit, it will prevent our children from developing life skills, such as communication and problem-solving on their own.
One of the negative effects that can stem from overparenting includes mental health issues. A study from the University of Mary Washington highlights that over-parenting is linked with higher levels of anxiety and depression in children.

Independent children survive better.

It’s also important for children to learn about independence from a young age as it affects their survival and life skills through adulthood. Excessive monitoring of your children can prevent them from being exposed to negative experiences and hence, they may find it harder to cope in difficult situations in their lifetime. A 2011 PEW Research survey discovered that 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds live with their parents and those who move out and move back in are referred to as the ‘Boomerang Generation’. This might be attributed to the heavy dependence on their parents to do their chores for them, as a child. Hence, when they grow older, they struggle to stand on their own two feet. 

It’s surprising to note that even little acts like doing their homework for them can make children feel entitled and dependent on their parents!

Limits are necessary to ensure the safety of your children when they engage in dangerous activities. However, limiting them completely can strip them of their independence and can lead to them having a false perception of what life is going to be like in the near future.

‘’I’d rather monitor my child than to risk their safety and security!’’

Above is something that some parents may say. As a parent, children’s safety should be a top priority. That’s why there are parental control apps for parents to use to monitor their child’s online activity. However, it’s easy to fall prey to over-parenting and hence the usage of these apps should be kept in check. Children subjected to excessive monitoring by parents can end up more rebellious in their teen years due to their lost freedom when young. 

Even so, parental control apps can help to ensure the safety of your children’s internet experience. Plano is an application that can help to limit your child’s smartphone usage, block apps, schedule device timings and much more. If used for the right reasons, it can be a useful tool in developing independence and responsible behaviour in your child’s life. 

Letting go is one of the hardest things to do as a parent, but it’s usually the best for our child. Instead of monitoring your kids through a smart device while at home, include them in your daily chores. This gives them device-free time, strengthens your bond with them and teaches them about responsibility. Researchers even concluded that kids who did chores were more likely to become happy, healthy and independent adults.

The most important thing is to have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy, especially parenting!

As best highlighted by Tim Cook’s recent advice, developing digital literacy is crucial for our children in this day and age. At the same time, the dangers of child Internet use – cyberbullying, screen addiction, and online predators – remain real and concerning (1, 2). Combined with what we know about excessive device use and myopia from our plano reports, blocking potentially dangerous and time-consuming apps seems to be the best way to protect our children. 

Yet, like taking away anything pleasurable in our own lives, blocking apps can prompt tantrums and strain the relationships we have with our children. Here are some steps you can take to alleviate such tensions in your parenting journey to promote healthy smart device use.

Have a prior conversation

No one likes to have things they enjoy suddenly taken away. Communicate with your child why you are blocking apps before doing so, and express your well-meaning intentions.

Moreover, children are inquisitive, and your child may ask further questions. Depending on their age, it is perhaps better to let children know and identify risks rather than be susceptible to them as a result of lack of knowledge. Ignorance is no longer bliss in this digital era. Having yourself as the source of information, rather than your child’s self-searched Internet results, can also allow greater control of what is being communicated to him/her.

Give your child a say

Empowerment is powerful in altering your child’s attitude towards a negative action such as blocking apps. When informing them about your decision, allow your child to have a say in what goes into it: Can he/she use the app on weekends, or maybe after he/she completes his/her homework? Another concession is to allow for app usage only when he/she uses it alongside you. If you are blocking an app hoping to curb a growing addiction, it is also empathetic to understand that addiction cannot be stopped overnight.

However, be clear and firm with the agreed boundaries and consequences that are established at this point in time. This can diminish later conflict should your child, for instance, figure out your password restrictions or find a third-party software to bypass the app block.

Distract them from their device

Lead by example. You being constantly on your device, especially if using the blocked app yourself in front of your child, can spur his/her desire to throw tantrums to do the same.

Bringing children outside to engage in device-free outdoor activities is extremely valuable. There are a plethora of activities out there, such as going to the library, the museum, and even spending time with family, all of which can increase creativity and socialization skills. The plano Shop also offers a variety of other engaging activities that can be requested by your child using their plano points when they engage in device safe habits using the plano parental control app.

What is the secret to parenting success? Controlled parenting, also known as authoritative parenting, might just be the answer. In this digital age, using parent apps is an important part of controlled parenting that parents the world over are making use of.

As parents, we play a pivotal role in our children’s growth – getting it right is not always easy. We find ways to cultivate good habits in our children and groom them to become great individuals in society. Parents also affect their children’s behaviour from a very early age.

In this day and age, digital parenting has become more common as more and more children grow up digital. Digital parenting is parenting done via technological means, such as downloading parental control apps or installing monitoring software on computers. This is a necessity given children’ wide usage of the internet and is an essential component of controlled parenting.  

Broadly speaking, parenting styles lie on a spectrum, with intrusive and permissive parenting at the extreme ends and controlled or authoritative parenting a blend of the two.

A.A.P (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive) – What type of parent are you?

Research suggests that both authoritarian (firm enforcement, weak encouragement of independence and individuality, and high hostility) and permissive parenting, which is the exact opposite, could cause damage to a child’s growth.

What children need is a blend of intrusive and permissive styles of parenting. An intrusive style of parenting is one with a lot of parental dominance and aggression. On the other hand, permissive style of parenting allows for children to grow up independently.

In comparison, authoritative parenting, defined by firm enforcement, encouraging independence and individuality, and low hostility, has been proven to be beneficial to children. 

In authoritative parenting, wielding control is a pivotal part of the parenting process. In this day and age, parental control apps are one way for parents to monitor their child’s daily activities. 

The role of parental apps in authoritative parenting

Parental control apps help to curb screen time usage, especially for parents who are unable to monitor their children all the time. Some features of parental apps include device time scheduling, blocking inappropriate content on mobiles, and decreasing screen time usage. 

According to a recent study by JAMA Pediatrics, excessive screen time can negatively impact your child’s development including memory, attention span and literary skills. It can lead to poor sleeping patterns and lower outdoor activity, increasing their likelihood of eye health problems such as myopia (shortsightedness).

Plano, a parental control app that cares for your child’s eyes

Technology has pervaded our children’s’ lives, promoting a trend of sitting in front of screens in order to be entertained. The recent emergence and proliferation of virtual reality has also been proven to cause eye strain. Moreover, as more and more children around the world are spending less time outdoors and more time glued to their devices, the incidence of myopia has spiked tremendously. Surveys state that myopia affects one in four 7 year olds, one-third of 9 year olds and half of 12 year olds. This trend is showing no signs of abating as it quietly sweeps other parts of the world.

This is exactly why we developed plano, a parent app that empowers you to protect your child’s eyes by monitoring their face-to-screen distance, postures, providing them with eye break reminders, and providing parents with detailed device use and myopia reports. We have also developed the first ever smart eye-check booking platform for children to go for timely and comprehensive eye checks! *applicable to users in Singapore only 

As parents, it is our responsibility to adopt an effective parenting style suited to our child’s growth. In this digital age, let’s make full use of the benefits technology offers us – in the form of parent apps!

As our world gets digitalised, it is unsurprising that the way we discipline children has also taken on a digital form. It is however perhaps time to realise what this might inadvertently do to your child, especially when it comes to the arduous battle against their screen addictions

What exactly is e-discipline?

What do you do when your child refuses to do homework? Or when he/she achieves exemplary results in the latest tests? 

E-discipline is defined as systematic practices that use screen devices as discipline tools. Examples of e-discipline are when parents punish their children by restricting their use of digital devices or even when they reward their children’s good behavior by allowing them to spend more time behind their screens.

In other words, if you use screen time to punish and/or reward your kids, you are engaging in e-discipline.

So what if I e-discipline my child?

Using e-discipline on a child increases the odds of him/her exceeding the recommended amount of screen time. This by extension, increases the likelihood of him/her being addicted to screens, alongside other worrying health and developmental issues associated with screen addiction. 

Just as how punishing or rewarding behaviour with certain food may make that particular food more attractive to your child, e-discipline can cause screen time to be more desirable than it already is. 

But what else can I do?

The allure of screens, be it smartphones, tablets or TVs, is undeniable. They seem to magically tackle all of our child discipline issues. However, there are other methods we can adopt as parents to not only enforce discipline, but to encourage a healthy mind and body for our children. 

1.Reward with device-free activities

Did your children behave exceptionally well? Bring them to the bookstore to pick out their favourite books. Instead of encouraging good behaviour by giving additional screen time, positive reinforcements can also come in the form of outdoor play, or inviting their family and friends over for some quality relationship-building. Going outdoors, in particular, also has protective benefits against the onset of myopia among children. Use this opportunity to engage in device-free activities that can improve their creativity and socialisation skills in a fun and healthy way. 

2. Enact a time-out

When your child does not stop misbehaving despite multiple warnings, calling for a time-out is another effective way to discipline him/her.  Unlike punishing children by reducing screen time and evoking further tantrums, giving time-outs encourages them to calm down and reflect on their behaviour. Beyond helping you avoid using e-discipline on your children, time-outs promote emotional maturity and a deeper understanding as to why their behaviour was wrong, especially when given a chance to apologise afterwards.

3. Be firm with established screen times

Being firm with agreed screen time schedules can also encourage discipline without using digital devices themselves as disciplinary tools. For instance, granting children with an unnegotiable thirty minutes of device use after dinner daily not only dissuades them from trying to extend it, it also stops the whining at other times of the day because they know that the device can be used at that agreed timing. This should also be accompanied with prior communication of the rationale behind limiting screen time, so as to help children understand that such rules are made with good intentions. 

Don’t e-discipline, but discipline with smart parental control aides

This is when parental control applications, like the plano app, come in handy. The plano app features device-free scheduling, along with other useful tools to promote healthy device-use such as posture-monitoring and eye break reminders. 

As convenient as e-disciplining seemingly is, it is important to bear in mind the consequences of completely relying on e-disciplining techniques in our parenting journeys. Screen addiction is not easy to combat, and ultimately, as parents, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to prevent it at an early age!

The ongoing controversy over keeping an eye on your child’s online activity. 

Teenagers are not strangers to controversy; from the recent spurning fast fashion to steering clear of meat in response to climate change. Controversy sparks change. Likewise, debates have always surrounded the idea and the meaning of ‘privacy’. Children and teenagers despise parental control apps because they feel parents are infringing on their privacy. To them, privacy does not mean isolation but wanting ‘space’ to focus on their personal growth and become more independent.

Putting ourselves in their shoes, would we want our parents to keep their watch on every move we make on social media? Probably not. Then why should we monitor our kids’ activity? 

As parents, we want the best for our kids, from encouraging them to consume greens at the dinner table, to providing them with the best education. It also includes wanting them to be safe regardless of whether they are online or offline. This does not mean your kids have to keep their smartphones at arm’s length. In this digital age, it’s essential that your kids keep up with what’s new and upcoming. However, the emergence of smartphones has also inevitably created a fence, making it difficult for parents to understand their children. 

The Great Wall of Smartphone Culture in Homes.

The barrier first came about when children held a smartphone in their hands, with the power to explore the online space and make new connections. This has provided them with the opportunity to deal with a crisis at school on their own instead of seeking their parents’ help. Smartphones also offer a wide range of games and social media platforms that children and teens can keep themselves occupied with. Around 53 percent of children in the US own a smartphone by the age of 11, with online video viewing being their one of the most enjoyable online activities. Furthermore, it can be done in the comfort of their own cozy bedroom.

Parental control apps were not created to build a wall between parents and children. They were supposed to form a bridge between both groups, with parents being able to cross over when the child is in danger. Hence, if parental control apps are used wisely to monitor your kid’s online activities, the positive impacts do outweigh the negative ones.

The moment of truth. 

In fact, a study highlighted that kids disclosing their personal information online was not associated with a higher incidence of stalking and linked dangers. The study also called attention to the fact that kids that are monitored by their parents are more likely to be disobedient compared to a parent-child relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

The solution, hence, is to always strike a balance. Monitoring your kid’s activities at a discreet distance will often benefit both parties, giving parents a peace of mind and keeping children safe. But how do you ensure that monitoring your kids’ activities at a distance is effective? 

Always be available

Incidents that deterred me from speaking to my parents as a child is the fact that they were very busy. As a working parent myself now, I understand that children should never be subjected to the line ‘’I’m busy, don’t disturb me’’ when they approach us with their concerns. Devote your complete attention to address their troubles and avoid multitasking. Showing them that you are always there to lend a listening ear helps to build trust with them.

Parental control apps aim to build rather than burn bridges with your kids. By preventing them from accessing harmful content online, it saves your children from falling into traps set by predators. At the same time, never replace your own physical presence with that of a monitoring software. 

plano is a parental control app that helps to manage your child’s device use. If you are intending to download such an app, be sure to have an open conversation with them before downloading to establish a climate of trust and respect with your children.

As more of our kids begin to own smartphones of their own, they may fall prey to smartphone addiction and this can harm their health in ways that we may not always see.

The phone and you: who’s in charge of who?

To grow up in the 21st Century means to grow up with a phone, a strong wi-fi connection, and of course, an Instagram account with a cool and witty handle. Our children are no strangers to this – they’re basically digital natives and they spend endless amounts of time on the net. According to a survey done on 2000 families with children, children are spending up to 23 hours a week on their smartphones and other devices.

23 hours – that’s nearly a whole day. Imagine spending almost an entire day staring at a tiny screen. We always trust our children to have control over their own devices, but reality paints a different story. It’s as if their thumbs have a mind of their own and even when they want to stop scrolling vicariously through Instagram, they can’t. They want to view Kylie Jenner’s latest Instagram Story; they want to view a funny cat video; they want to tune into their friend’s Instagram Live. It’s like a Rabbit Hole – once they’re down the black hole, it’s difficult to climb out of it.So really, who has control over who? Does your child really have control over their own smartphone use? This could be a sign of smartphone addiction. What is more alarming is the fact that your kid’s smartphone addiction can lead to alarming mental health issues like depression.

We can hide a lot behind a screen, even our sadness.

A study in BMC psychiatry has demonstrated a positive correlation between smartphone addiction and depression. While the research was done on adults, the affectual relationship between extended smartphone use and depression can be applied to children if they’re not cautious of their own screen time.

It’s not the mere act of staring at a screen that contributes to mental health issues, it’s what is being done when kids use their smartphones. The idea of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) permeates social media and affects the way kids view and use their smartphones.

It contributes to a Negative Feedback Loop – kids may find themselves disinterested and disengaged in other activities besides using their smartphone. They may feel agitated and anxious if they’re separated from their phone for too long. Research has uncovered that people who experience these symptoms end up using more social media to cope with these negative feelings. What results is a snowball of negative mental health consequences which may trigger feelings of loneliness and contribute to depression. 

It is therefore pertinent to keep our child’s screen time in check before it spirals out of control. The plano App can help you keep your child’s smartphone use in check. As a parent, you can schedule device-free timings on your child’s phone, and block* the use of certain applications that may be taking up your child’s time.

Smartphones are here to stay for a long time. The uptake of smartphones amongst our children will only increase with time. It’s therefore important that we, as parents, help them understand the importance of moderating their smartphone use. While smartphones are not inherently bad, it’s how we use it that matters. 

This may be an unpopular opinion, but control is good. When it comes to our child’s smartphone use, control is often necessary.

What’s in a word?

Let’s talk about the word ‘control’ for a bit. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘control’ can be used as a noun or a verb. Usually, it is used to mean having power or influence over something or someone. When we think of being controlled, we think of ourselves being at the mercy of someone who holds a higher authority than us.

Now put control between ‘parental’ and ‘apps’ and you have: parental control apps. Often used as a measure to monitor a child’s smartphone use, parental control apps are typically met with resentment from children. Why?

It’s because of the word, ‘control’. Naturally, people don’t like to be controlled. According to psychologist, Dr. Golden, feeling like you’re being controlled can spark anger and frustration because it can feel as though you’re being manipulated. So, when your child feels like they’re being controlled through an app, they react with intense feelings of annoyance and resentment.

Change their perspective.

As mentioned earlier however, control is good; necessary in fact. Telling your child that you’re installing a parental control app on their phone however, is often met with protestations. So how do you go about broaching this touchy subject with your child?

Try to empathise with your child first. Reassure them that you have times when you find yourself engrossed with your phone too (think work, entertainment, social media, etc.). However, that doesn’t mean you focus all your attention on the phone and neglect everyone else around you. The app is therefore there to remind your child to use his/her phone in moderation.

Parental control apps like the plano app allow you as a parent, to set no-device time schedules. For instance, if your child is constantly bringing his/her phone to the dinner table to use, you can use the app to lock the device during dinner. After establishing empathy, tell your child that this isn’t done to spoil their fun, but to help him/her develop the right device habits. Being responsible for his/her own device use helps your child to understand the importance of taking ownership for his/her own actions as well.

As parents, we’re naturally concerned with our child’s health too. Spending prolonged periods of time on devices can also be detrimental to one’s eye health. Children who spend extended hours staring at their tiny screens are susceptible to developing conditions like myopia.

According to plano’s report, excessive near work activity such as smartphone use can heighten the progression of myopia. The plano app prompts your child every 30 minutes to take a break from their phones and rest their eyes. It also reminds your child to place their phones at a good distance of 30cm away from their eyes to reduce strain and stress on their eyes. Let your child know that parental control apps like plano aren’t there to be a nag, but to protect and safeguard their eye health.

If your child follows all these reminders and prompts from the plano app, they get to earn points. These points can be used in the plano Shop where your child can request for fun device-free activities like football classes, or outdoor playground passes – a great way to motivate your child to take breaks from his/her phone!

Control isn’t all that bad.

Control is good. It sets rules and boundaries to keep your child safe and responsible. It is however important for your child to understand the rationale behind the control. Once they understand your perspective and your good intentions, chances are, they’ll be more open to parental control apps.

At the end of the day, we do all things with love and care for our children. It’s therefore important to translate this to them. They’re our bundle of joy after all, and we want the best for them.

Your kids have gone digital, you’ve gone digital, your parenting friend has also gone digital. Enter your next best parenting friend – the prime iPhone monitoring apps!

Does your child like your new friend?

Children tend to exhibit shy behaviour when they meet new people. So what happens when you introduce your new digital friend to them? Obviously, they’ll be hesitant about the encounter. And when you tell them this new friend will be monitoring their smartphone-use? Immediate protestations: “No, I don’t want it!” or, “Delete it, delete it now, mum please!”

It’s unsurprising, really. Children want to be afforded privacy, and they should be. We adults want our privacy, so why can’t our children? In these situations, it’s important to let your child know it’s not that you want to pry into their lives. Rather, you just want them to use their phones more responsibly.

Introduce your new-found iPhone Monitoring app like you’re introducing an aunt or uncle. Let them know that just like cool Aunt Clara or Uncle Damien, the app isn’t there to limit their fun. They can continue to watch their favourite cartoons or play the latest iPhone game. However, aunts and uncles are always there to keep us in good step – They’re the ones we turn to when we need a lead defense against mum or dad, but they’re also the first ones to call us out when we make a mistake. They also tell mum or dad to go easy on us.

In the same vein, iPhone monitoring apps can help remind your child to put down their phones when the time is up. They can help you to set device-free timings so that your child can focus on other things besides their screens. iPhone monitoring apps like the plano app can do just that.

The plano app goes one step further – it puts your child’s eye health at the forefront. Plano reminds your child to place their phones at least 30cm away from their eyes, and to take an eye break every 30 minutes. Eye breaks and adequate distance between their eyes and the screens help to prevent eye conditions like myopia, from progressing.

Friends come and go, but parents always stay.

While iPhone monitoring tools are a great digital assistance, it’s important to remember that you are still the head honcho in charge. Downloading all the iPhone monitoring tools can prove to be helpful in one way, but you play the most pivotal role in your child’s life. One day, we want our children to be able to use their digital devices responsibly on their own. But before we expect them to, we ought to evaluate our own phone use.

If you want your child to keep the phone away and focus at dinner, make sure you do that too. If you want your child to limit their time on their phones, make sure you do that too. If you want your child to stop mindlessly scrolling through social media – yes, you guessed it – make sure you do that too. Remember, at the end of the day, you are your child’s role model.

Our children are the biggest copycats. By watching what we do – our behaviours, actions and mannerisms – they learn a great deal about how to react to the world around them. As such, it is only natural that they pick up our bad habits along with the good ones – like our smartphone addiction.

How can you work together as a family to kick the habit?

Turn off your notifications.

We’re not saying to turn of your notifications all the time; just when it matters. Sure, it may be hard at first, but the psychological and health implications of the phenomenon known as technoferance (disruption caused by technology) are profound. 

Moreover, checking your notifications during important moments like family dinner and outings can signal to your children that they’re in the clear to behave similarly too. As such, it can be useful to create a set of ground rules when it comes to device use (especially during family time) which everyone (yes, you too) follows.

Get some phone-free shut-eye.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For many of us, our mornings may look like this:

*Phone alarm goes off*

*Snooze the alarm* x5 (every 5 minutes)

*Fully awake after turning off the 6th alarm*

*Phone in hand, you proceed to scroll through Instagram, check your flurry of emails, read the news etc.*

So basically, you start your day off with your eyes trained on your tiny screen. This may be true for your little one as well. 

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Fight yours and your kid’s smartphone addiction by starting the day off screen-free! Get your entire family alarm clocks and encourage a phone-free sleep and rise. That way, there will be no temptation to check your devices in the morning!

Choose life over screens.

Have you ever wondered how much time you and your kids are spending on your smart devices? Sure, there are apps that track screen usage a day. What about over your entire lifetimes? What are you trading off over your life by staring at a tiny screen? 

That’s exactly the question we asked ourselves and the reason why we developed and launched The Plano Timemachine. In essence, it calculates in 60s, how much time you will spend staring at your tiny screen, over your entire lifetime. Beyond that, it gives you a personalised recommendation on how to improve your results. 

The first step to solving any problem is realising it exists in the first place. If you feel that your kid’s smartphone addiction is getting out of hand, as a first step, get them to try the Time Machine and see the real impacts their devices will have on their lives! A little insight will go a long way – empower them to choose their lives over screens!

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For a limited time only, we are giving away $500 to one lucky time machine user! Simply send a screenshot of your time machine results to our Instagram or Facebook account for 1 chance to enter the contest! For additional chances, click here. *Contest is valid for Singaporean users only. Contest ends 1 Jan 2359, so hurry! Time is of the essence. Terms and conditions apply.

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