The Digital-Age Dilemma: Control or Cultivate Smart Device Behaviour?


Parenting is tough. Parenting in this digital-age is tougher.

With the countless benefits brought by the digital age, how can parents help their kids to switch “off” when it’s time to?

Here are some measures that you can take to curb their smartphone addiction:

1. Set hard rules.

Say “No” when your kids ask for devices. Or if your kids own their own phones, you can put in place a strict smartphone policy right from the start – such as no smartphones on the dining table or they have to hand over their phones to you before sleeping.

2. Control their usage.

Enforce limits on their usage. For example, you can make a condition with them whereby they can only use it for a certain amount of time a day. You can also set boundaries on what they can do on their smartphones to ensure they are not exposed to harmful content online.

3. Use Parental Control functions on their phone.

Use parental control functions in smartphones (Android and iOS) that helps parents control what apps their kids can download, content-blocking and limit their screen time.

Falling on deaf ears? Strike a balance.

However, controlling is a very traditional way of parenting, and it will fall on deaf ears for kids today. Kids now respond better to positive reinforcement, so instead of controlling, try these:

1. Social reinforcement.

Compliment your kids when they practice good eye care habits and encourage them by bringing them outdoors to play and be with them through this journey of eye care.

2. Point system.

Start a point system whereby your kids will get stickers when they stick to good eye care habits. They can then change the stickers for something they want. This way, they’ll strive towards good eye care habits.

3. Tangible rewards.

Motivate your kids by showing them what they can get if they follow good eye care habits such as a trip to the zoo.

Besides doing these yourself, our parental control app that does all this for you! Kids on this app get points when they practice good eye care habits, where they can trade for rewards. (positive reinforcement!) Another way to get our kids away from their phones can be by piquing their interest in books. Here are some books with quality content and visuals that also promotes good eye care habits.

When kids get these compliments and rewards for practicing good eye care habits, they feel recognized for their efforts and will feel empowered to continue keeping up with their good behaviour, leading to a virtuous cycle.

By encouraging your kids to cultivate good eye care habits and rewarding them, it will create a feedback loop that ultimately encourages them to make it a lifelong habit. And this is definitely better than just controlling them.

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