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 plano app 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.

‘Digital’ has become all the rage nowadays. The buzz around being ‘tech-savvy’ and keeping up with our digitally-wired little ones is THE parenting trend. So how can we parents go about it? Parent apps.

Keeping up with the kids

Technology is an integral part of our lives now – from working to playing, we can’t escape it. Your little ones aren’t excluded from the digital revolution either. Being parents of digital natives, we need to mentor our children to use their smartphones responsibly.According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), children between the ages of 3 and 4 should only spend a maximum of 1 hour on the screens. Children below that age range shouldn’t even be given screen time at all. Too much screen time has proven to not only impair cognitive and mental development at a young age, but heighten the progression of myopia in children too. Therefore, there is a need for us parents to remain informed on how much time our kids are spending on the screen, and how they’re using the internet.

Staying ahead of the curve

While we need to keep abreast of our children’s device use, it’s also unrealistic to constantly expect yourself to look over their shoulder like a hawk. This is when parent apps come in handy. Parent apps help you to guide and monitor your child’s smart device usage. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in the living room with your child when he/she is using the phone, parent apps help you to keep them in check.

Most parent apps run in the background of your child’s phone. As long as the parent app has been opened beforehand, the parent app will monitor the time your child has spent on other applications such as Netflix Kids or Instagram. The plano app can help you do this. After 30 minutes of screen time, the plano app will notify your child to take a break from his/her phone to rest his/her eyes. When your children give their eyes a break, it prevents them from experiencing Digital Eye Strain (DES). DES is a phenomenon that can result in eye irritation, dryness, and redness as a result of  prolonged device screen time.

If your child follows these in-app notifications to give their eyes a break, they earn points. They can then use these points in the plano Shop* to request for device-free activities such as football classes or a ziplining adventure at Mega Adventure.

However, before installing parent apps, it’s important to talk to your child about it first. Failing to do so may induce feelings of resentment in your child as they may feel as though their privacy has been infringed upon. Sitting down with your child and having an open and honest conversation about installing a parent app on their phone can go a long way. It helps to build trust and accountability in your child and encourages them to use their devices responsibly as well. 

*Only available to Singapore users.

Our children are living in a smart device era and no matter where you look, you’re bound to find a child with one. Here’s why parental control apps are needed more than ever now.

Living life through the screen

In a hyper-connected world, we’re fed with endless amounts of information practically every minute. From social media to news outlets, the world doesn’t stop feeding us with something new – our children included.Our little ones spend heighted amounts of time on their devices. As detailed in the plano reports*, 97% of children aged 4 years or younger use mobile devices. In Singapore, children aged 9 to 12 years spend up to 50 hours a week on their smart devices. That’s as much time as a working adult spends in the office a week. When you see your children living a large part of their lives through a tiny screen, that’s when you know it’s time for you to get some help from the device itself.

When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

You probably know how the saying goes, “if you can’t beat ’em at their own game, join ’em”. Used since the 1930s, the old proverb means that if you can’t find a way to subvert or overthrow your opponent, you may as well join them to seize a shred of control over the situation. When you can’t seem to get your child away from the screens, no matter how much you ask them to, get the screen to do the work for you. How? By using parental control apps.

Parental control apps may sound intimidating , but it’s not bad at all! In fact, using parental control apps are almost necessary in today’s digital age for the following reasons:

1. Develops healthy habits

Constantly staring at one’s screen isn’t healthy – both physically and mentally. Using parental control apps can help monitor your child’s digital device use and prevent them from using their devices excessively or incorrectly.

The plano app reminds your child to take a break from his/her phone every 30 minutes. The app also prompts your child to place their devices at a good distance away from their eyes. It will notify your child if they’re positioning their phones too close to their face. These notifications will remind your child to practice healthy device habits on a daily basis, and helps them to manage their screen time.

2. Having the control when you need it

Sometimes, your child may spend endless hours scrolling through their social media, or spend too much time on a particular gaming app. If that’s the case, parental control apps come in handy when you feel the need to block particular apps. However, it must be noted that there are limitations to the number of apps you can block before junior finds a way around it. So when the blocking apps function has run its course, you can consider doing these few things instead.

3. In-app insights

Parental control apps are getting smarter by the day. Nowadays, these apps even provide you with reports on how much time your child is spending on their devices, and on which apps specifically too. The premium model of the plano app sends you reports on your child’s screen time, and estimated myopia progression based on your child’s digital device use. You can use these reports to analyse your child’s screen time and make an informed decision about the following steps you could take to further manage their smart device usage.

Digital problems, digital solutions

Parental control apps are friends, not foes when it comes to managing our child’s digital device use. If you find a need to download one, be sure to inform your child about it and tell him/her why it’s necessary for them to have one. Our children’s screens are not their lives after all, and it’s important they know this too. 

If you’ve tried to pry the phone away from your little one, you may be familiar with the tantrums and whining. Sometimes, your kid’s smartphone addiction can come in between you and your little one.

A tug-o-war for the phone

It’s the weekend, and you realise your kid has been scrolling endlessly on his/her phone for almost 2 hours! When you try to ask him/her to hand it over, he/she begins to protest.

“Just 5 more minutes, please!”

“Why? It’s the weekend, I deserve to use the phone.”

“But mom, all my friends can use their phones whenever they want to. Why can’t I?”

You purse your lips in resignation and sigh. You allow another 5 minutes, but once that’s over, the same protestations begin again.

Most of us parents have been in that situation before. A temper tantrum ensues and suddenly, you feel like the bad guy. You’ve managed to take the phone away, but at the cost of your child’s positive disposition. Just 5 minutes ago, you saw him/her sitting on the couch giggling away at the screen. Now a scowl is plastered over his/her face and he/she refuses to speak to you.

The wedge between you and your child: smartphones

It’s a tiny device, but for some reason it holds so much weight in your child’s life. When your kid’s smartphone addiction begins to bleed itself into your relationship with your child, it’s time to scale back the screen time. But before you do that, it’s important to understand why your child is seemingly so addicted to his/her smartphone.

This may come as a surprise, however, your kid’s smartphone addiction may not be as unusual as you think. In fact, it’s normal amongst children of the digital generation. In today’s hyper-connected world, your child is exposed to an endless array of online information. The need to check their devices may stem from peer pressure to reply quickly or keep up-to-date with the latest trends on the net. Your child may thus feel a compulsive need to constantly have their hands on their smartphones. This may explain their tantrums when you do decide to keep the phone away.

Removing the wedge and connecting with your child

It’s important to sit down with your child and talk about their screen time. Let your kid know that their smartphone addiction is unhealthy and that there needs to be a balance. While our smartphones help us find information and entertainment for us, we should limit our dependence on them.

Explain to your kid that some screen time is permitted, but when the time is up, the time is up. If your kid’s smartphone addiction gets too alarming, consider using the plano app. The plano app allows you to set specific no-device timings on your child’s phone. The app also reminds your child to take a break every 30 minutes of using their phone so that he/she won’t spend hours upon hours staring at a tiny screen.

Take this opportunity to let your child know that he/she doesn’t have to be doing or watching everything that their friends are doing. Peer pressure is rife amongst schooling children so it’s crucial to create a conversation about that too.

Lastly, it’s essential to check your own screen time. Oftentimes, we like to point fingers at our children’s smartphone addiction, but we have yet to evaluate our own. Children tend to emulate their parents first and hence, we should check our own device use first before we start criticising our children about theirs.

Read more:

The quest for information has us locked in our own ‘cell’ phones – the effects of smartphone addiction are beyond real.

Our smartphone addiction has kept us occupied – whether it is through the constant buzzing or the swarm of data that we encounter everyday. We are not addicted to smartphones themselves, but the information and entertainment that keeps us engaged wherever we go. It is ironic that we don’t remember most of what we read, yet we are compelled to read one headline, one notification, or one post after another. 

Smartphones tend to have that effect on us. It ensures that we are handcuffed with responsibilities – whether it’s making sure that your followers know what you’re wearing or to post a quote in exchange for a few comments. In fact, we create and choose to tie ourselves down to these responsibilities. Nobody is compelling us to use our smartphones. Hence, the effects of smartphones on us, is indeed alarming. 

We are losing precious time 

Have you ever heard of the term, ‘opportunity cost’? The opportunity cost of using smartphones refers to the loss of other alternatives due to the time spent on smartphones. When we spend time on our smartphones, we choose not to exercise, to study, or to go out with friends and family. 

Some of us even experience FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). When your friends post pictures and Instagram stories of them eating hipster or fancy food, the thought that immediately comes to mind is ‘Why is our life so boring?’ Studies state that teens who visit social-networking sites every day but do not interact with their friends in real life are the most likely to agree with the statement “A lot of times I feel lonely,” “I often feel left out of things,” and “I often wish I had more good friends.” Moreover, teens’ feelings of loneliness pierced through in 2013 and have maintained since.
Losing time by using your smartphone may not sound so worrying. But what if there was a way to calculate how many years you have lost due to screen time consumption? Try out plano’s Time Machine to find out how much of your life has been lost to smartphone usage.

Smartphone intrusion is real

To have your smartphone with you is a wise choice when a friend calls or you have to reply urgently to an email. However, many of us use our phones wherever we go. What was supposed to be a private space, such as our bedroom, is now violated by our smartphones. 

The bedroom is not the only place which has been intruded by smartphones. Smartphone use is increasingly spilling into bathrooms! The 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits found 12 percent use their devices in the shower. Moreover, more than 50 percent accepted they still text while driving, despite the fact that this is six times more dangerous than drinking and driving.

In addition to the pervasive use of smartphones in our lives, it has also led to something called separation anxiety disorder. This actually refers to an extreme feeling of longing that a child experiences when separated from their mother. Nowadays, this term also alludes to the same extreme feeling one experiences when away from their phones. According to a poll by SecurEnvoy, 70 percent of women have phone separation anxiety as opposed to 61 percent of men.

After all, a smartphone isn’t a part of your body – so you should let it go right?

How do we free ourselves from the excessive usage of our devices?

It is important that we acknowledge that in this growing technological day and age, smartphones are incredibly useful. The first step is to accept this fact and control our usage accordingly. 

1. Find your balance

If staying away from your smartphone for awhile is already a challenge, take it step by step. Replace your screen time with an activity, perhaps reading a book you have always wanted to. Try disabling your wifi 2 hours before you sleep for 1 week. Gradually increase the number of hours and find your balance. Once you feel like you do not think about your phone every time you wake up, you have made progress. 

2. Delete the applications that do not serve a purpose

It is important to delete applications that are taking up phone memory and keeping you distracted for no reason. Same goes for applications that end up making you feel bad rather than entertaining or connecting you to people. Doing this will clear your mind and reduce your screen time significantly. If you need an application that you fear using excessively, simply move the app to another page. It’s a simple, yet effective way to resist the temptation of opening the app the moment you unlock your phone.

Overcome smartphone addiction by adopting these practices. Control is in our hands, and we can make the right decision to spend our time wisely.

Our tech-savvy children can manoeuvre around our attempts at blocking apps on their smartphones. So when we’ve run out of moves, here’s what you can do instead.

Been there, blocked that

“Ok, have you tried YouTube Kids?”

“Yes, and my son managed to disable it! I can’t believe it, he’s only 9!”

“Did you try blocking the entire YouTube app then?”

“I did! It worked for like 2 weeks, then he found out how to get around it! I just don’t get it.”

Parents, you’ve probably been through this situation yourself. You pull out a few parental controls and junior just knows how to skirt around them. As a parent, you try your best to protect your child from dangerous online content, keep him from getting addicted to his/her phone, safeguard him from online bullies. It all makes sense to you as a parent.

Here’s what you can do

You don’t want his phone to be the thief of his safety and happiness. But is the phone really stealing this away or is it all just in your head?

Technology is undoubtedly here to stay. For better or for worse, our young ones are all going to own a smart device of their own. As they grow older, their smartphone use will only increase. So while they’re young, it’s important to teach them the importance of establishing a responsible relationship with their devices. Technology is not the problem, it’s how we use it that is. You can consider doing these 3 things to limit his smart device use if blocking apps no longer works:

1. Consider no-device play times

Playing is a great way for children to relax and have fun at the same time. Show your children that there is more entertainment out there beyond their screens. Even though there are a ton of mobile games on the market, you can’t beat some good-ol-fashioned playtime interaction between two people. The laughter and the jokes that follow every game will make for some precious memories that your children will remember in time to come.

2. Bring them outdoors

The best things in life are free, right? Well, the outdoors abound with activities to do, sights to see, and best of all, it’s free! Bring them for a cycle along the beach, or go outdoors for a picnic. Hike with them and let them enjoy mother nature. The best part about the outdoors is that it’s also good for their eyes. Research has shown that spending a few hours outdoors every day helps to prevent the onset of myopia. So, what are you waiting for? Bring them out to soak up the sun!

3. Download parental management apps

When you can’t beat them at their own game, you join them. If your children are still looking at their screens for prolonged periods of time, consider using the plano app. The plano app reminds your child to take eye breaks every 30 minutes of using their phone. Every time they do so, they earn points and they can use these points to request items from the plano Shop.

The app also reminds your child to place their phones away from their eyes at a good distance. This is because excessive near work activity will increase your child’s progression of myopia. If things get out of hand, you can use the remote locking function too to easily lock your child’s phone from your own device*.

*This is subject to your device’s technical capabilities.  

We parents always want to keep an eye on our child’s smartphone use, however, when does it begin to border on helicopter parenting? What can we do about it?

What is helicopter parenting?

The term ‘helicopter parenting’ was first used by Dr. Haim Ginott in his 1969 book, ‘Parents & Teenagers’. The term refers to a type of parenting that involves parents who are overly focused on their children’s everyday experiences. While it is one thing to be involved in our child’s life, it’s another to bee too involved; being overly protective, overly controlling, and overly anxious about our child.

Flying overhead

We’ve heard of all the dangers that lurk in cyberspace, and we parents have that natural instinct to protect our children from them. We’ve heard of multiple parent apps that promise to safeguard our child from the internet’s threats. It’s likely you’ve downloaded a couple of them yourselves. But these apps can infringe on your child’s privacy sometimes. What may solely be a protective measure to you, may be a source of internal agony for your child.

If an iPhone monitoring app is running in the background of the phone, it can detect most things that your child is doing on his/her phone. Imagine someone looking over your shoulder every minute – that may be exactly how your child feels. When children realise that they’re being watched, they will find ways to move around it. This maneuver may create more secrecy and distrust between your child and yourself, which isn’t ideal to say the least.

Here’s what you can do instead

While we all need to keep an eye on our children, it’s important that we don’t fall into the trap of helicopter parenting. Yes, we do have a responsibility to keep them safe from harm on the internet, but we also need to guide them to make informed decisions.

Take one step back before you install another iPhone monitoring app, and talk to your child instead. Opening up an honest conversation about your worries and the harmful content that exists on the internet is more beneficial than you think. Not only will your child understand your concerns and the rationale behind your anxieties, it also builds a strong foundation of trust.

You can take this opportunity to also tell your child about the different parental controls that you’ve installed on his/her phone. If you’ve installed the plano app and have scheduled device time limits, let your child know why. Let him/her know that these schedules are meant to keep their screen time in check. If you’ve blocked an app or two, be honest about your reasons behind it.

After all, a little conversation can go a long way.

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

Nelson Mandela

Although the former revolutionary and South African president spoke these words in 1995, they still hold true in this digital age. 

As parents, we play an important role in our kids’ development. However, we need to remember that we are not alone in raising the next generation of movers, shakers and change makers; it takes an entire network of support to monitor our kids’ development and ensure that they remain protected and healthy. These are some of the ways the different parts of your child’s environment can enable him/her to thrive in this digital age.

1. A healthy home environment

Technology is a wonderful thing – it helps our children connect to and interact with the vast world around them in a way that we never could in our childhoods. However, as with all good things in life, too much of it is harmful. Excessive device use has spawned several mental and physical health consequences among children worldwide, including myopia (short-sightedness), device dependency and screen and gaming addiction.

As parents, we need to be more proactive in monitoring our children’s device use. Setting house rules and communicating why these rules need to be followed is an important way to cultivate healthy device habits. Some important rules are device-free time blocks, restricting their online activity to certain child-appropriate apps and websites and getting your consent before making any purchases, entering any personal information and posting any images on social media platforms. A parental management application can come in handy for this. Here at Plano, we’ve developed the plano app to make this process easier.

Moreover, having an open communication channel and building a relationship on the foundation of trust and support is crucial. Actively listening to their feelings and looking out for signs of addiction, cyberbullying and more are important measures to ensure that these issues do not escalate.

2. An active friend circle

For children, making friends is an important part of their development. Not only do their friendships enable them to develop their identities, they affect our children’s health. Studies show that children with more active friends are likely influenced to engage in physical activity as there are less ‘barriers’ such as feeling self-conscious, lack of enjoyment, self-discipline and energy. 

These days, for more and more of our children, gadgets are replacing outdoor play. This lack of physical activity has negative health consequences, one of which is myopia. An active friend circle is an integral way of ensuring that our children’s overall social, emotional and physical development is healthy.

3. The Expert: Visit to the optometrist

Bringing your child to regular and comprehensive eye checks is just as important as taking them to the dentist or paediatrician. Regular eye checks from a young age are important for early diagnosis and identifying vision problems, an important step in preventing the progression of myopia. Click here to find out how often you should take your child to your nearest optometrist.

That’s exactly why we’ve developed plano Eyecheck, an affordable, easy-to-use, patient-centred online platform – to help close the loop for eye care service delivery both in Singapore and in the near future, the world. It is especially necessary in this digital age for our children to get into the eye health system and give their eyes the due protection they deserve.* plano Eyecheck is currently only available in Singapore. For a limited time only, all appointments made using the plano Eyecheck platform will receive a S$50 voucher to offset the cost of the eye check-up. Book your eye check-up today!

As the old African adage goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Indeed, in this digital age, our children need a healthy ecosystem of support not only from us parents, but their peers and health experts. Our collaborative effort in monitoring their development will enable them to experience all that our vast world has to offer while remaining protected and healthy. Remember, children are our future, so let’s set them up for success from an early age!

Parental control apps are like our digital parenting assistants. However, are you relying too much on these apps? At the end of the day, these apps are just that – digital assistants. Ultimately, you’re still the head parent in charge.

The training wheels of our children’s devices

Think of parental control apps like training wheels for your digitally-wired children. While these apps help them to balance their screen time and keep them safe, you can’t rely on them forever. Your children will have to navigate the dangers of cyberspace and be discerning on the internet.

They have to learn how to be responsible for their own screen time, and take care of their device habits. These parental control apps are merely there to facilitate healthy device use. As a parent, you play a pivotal role in shaping your child’s mindset and smartphone behaviour, so you can’t just rely on parental control apps entirely. The end goal is to hand our children control over their smart device use.

Where to begin?

You can start off by using parental control apps when your child gets his/her first smartphone. The key is to communicate to your child clearly that you are downloading an app to keep track of his/her screen time, and let him/her know why. Let your child know about the reasons behind any specific no-device times, or the reason why you’re only giving him/her a specific amount of time to use the phone. For instance, if it’s dinner time, tell your child that no phones are allowed at the dinner table. If it’s time for homework, tell your child that it’s time to focus on the books. As the old adage goes: there’s a time and place for everything. 

Children are prone to asking for another minute on the phone, and while we parents always want to avoid a meltdown, it’s important to stand your ground. Be consistent with the amount of time you’ve given your child to instill discipline and responsibility. If your child insists that he/she has more homework to be done, sympathise and give them an extension. Ask your child how much more time he/she needs to complete the homework and stick to that as the maximum extension. When that’s done, it’s important to keep a close eye on your child too.

If your child is finished with his/her homework and wants to use the device for entertainment, it’s important not to fall into the trap of ‘helicopter parenting’. Helicopter parenting occurs when parents pay extra close attention to every single one of his/her child’s actions. If you have a compulsive need to know every app your child is using and what sort of content your child is consuming or posting, pull back. This can hinder your relationship with your child. Instead, set device limits using your parental control app. The plano app helps you to set device time limits. If your child tells you he/she needs 30 minutes of phone time, you can schedule a “no-device” time frame to begin after the 30 minutes is over.

Let your child know that it’s one way to keep his/her screen time in order. If you’re concerned about specific content online, have an open and honest conversation with your child about such content – be clear about what type of content is safe, and what is strictly off limits. Creating a positive relationship with your child will help build trust and understanding.

Removing the training wheels

A parental control app helps to facilitate and guide your child’s smartphone use in today’s digital age. Your role as a parent helps enhance their confidence to use the internet safely and responsibly. Parental control apps help to coach our children to balance their screen time. Just like training wheels, we hope that our children will be able to grow up and do without them. The one thing that stays constant however, is your role as a parent. 

We’ve all done it before. We’ve blocked an app or two on our children’s phones. Based on my own experience as a parent, however, this method of protection may not be all that useful.

Block the urge to block apps.

“Why?” you might ask? Well, as a parent myself, I’ve seen how effective the block apps feature can go. Our children are growing up digital. When we try to use technology to curb their screen time or digital habits, they can naturally use technology to side step these limitations. They’ve got as many ways to navigate the digital realm as we do (and maybe even more)!

So when I tried to block the YouTube app from my 10-year old’s phone (because it posed as a huge distraction), he somehow managed to remove the blocking feature. When confronted on how he did it, he replied nonchalantly, “I Google-d it”. Well, they weren’t kidding when you said you can find all the answers on Google.

I stopped blocking apps from then on. Here’s what I did instead:

1. I created a conversation

Ask your child why he/she needs to use the phone. Is it for entertainment? Is it for information? There’s always a reason why he/she wants to grab the phone. Sometimes, it’s just for mindless scrolling through social media. Through these conversations, ask your child how long he/she intends to spend on the phone. After all, we all need at least some entertainment and we need to relieve ourselves of stress.

Talk to your child about internet safety and healthy device use too. It’s necessary for your child to understand why you’re blocking apps for their own protection, and not because you’re trying to control every aspect of his/her life. After your child understands your rationale, they might be more cautious of their behaviour on the internet. 

2. Taught him about limits

Too much of a good thing can be bad. While our devices can be used for entertainment purposes, it’s also important not to lose track of time on the internet. We all know how it goes – we tell ourselves it’s just one episode of our favourite show on Netflix, but before you know it, we’ve smashed through a whole season. It’s no different for our children, so we shouldn’t hold it against them.We can, however, tell them that it’s responsible to heed our own limits.

If we tell ourselves one episode, we need to be disciplined to stick to just one episode. If junior needs a little push, the plano app helps to set limits on your child’s screen time. As a parent, you can schedule device-free timings to keep the phone away during specific time intervals. So if your child tells you he/she wants to watch one 30-min episode of his/her favourite cartoon, you can schedule a “no-device” time frame after the episode is over.

3. Planned family outings

I taught my child that there’s fun beyond his screens. In today’s digital age, our children find fun through a tiny little digital shop called the App Store (or the Play Store). Every time my son whines that he’s bored, I take him out for a short family outing to the playground. With so much time spent on their devices every day, keeping the phone away and basking in the sun helps to give your child’s eyes a break too. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors helps to prevent myopia from progressing.When our children exposed to the unlimited fun the outdoors presents them, it helps them realise that their phones aren’t the only source of entertainment.

As parents, bringing them outdoors also presents us with the opportunity to bond with our children. Talk to them about the sights and sounds that they notice or play with them in the sun – run, jump, get all sweaty with them. Join in the fun! The plano Shop has a variety of device-free activities and outdoor adventures that your child can engage in!