There are various apps out there that capture our child’s attention, and sometimes, too much attention. When this happens, it’s natural to want to block those apps. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
When you block an app, how often do you explain to your child why? For example, if YouTube was blocked from your child without any prior warning, you’d probably have to face meltdowns, temper tantrums, and probably screaming. However, children are smart, and they know how to work around their restrictions. While your child may have limited access to the app at home, he/she could easily find access to it in school through their friends, or simply through another device (smart TVs, anyone?). So when you block apps on your child’s phone, this may trigger withdrawal symptoms and spur them on to find alternative sources to use the app. Pretty counterproductive, right?
Well, not all is bad though. Blocking apps help to protect your child from harmful content, and that’s necessary. If this is your justification, explain this clearly to your child. However, if what you’re dealing with has more to do with excessive amounts of time they’ve spent on those apps, perhaps you could look at other solutions.
What could you do instead?
Nothing beats the power of conversation. Clearly setting out smartphone boundaries with your child can go a long way in cutting down their device use. Understand why they require time on their devices and come to a consensus about their screen time. After all, blocking apps can only go so far – when you block one app, chances are, your young one is just going to jump to another app to find entertainment. There are numerous alternatives online. Negotiating a schedule with them, however, will allow them to understand the need for responsible regulation.
2. Install parental apps
Aside from negotiation, there’s also a need to monitor your child’s smart device use to ensure that they are indeed sticking to the set schedule that you’ve agreed on. Parental apps can help. Apps like plano run in the background of your phone to help monitor your child’s smart device use. You can also use the app to set a device-free time. Additionally, the app will remind your child to take a break from their devices from time to time.
3. Take them out
A sure-win way of getting your child off the screens is to take them outdoors. This doesn’t have to cost much, and in fact, it could be free of charge! The beach, the local parks or gardens, the nearby playground – these are areas where you can bring your child to play to have fun away from the screens. Spending time outdoors is also proven to safeguard your child’s eyes from eye anomalies like myopia. If you’d like to enjoy some discounted device-free activities, check out the plano shop for exclusive discounts just for plano users*! Activities include outdoor ziplining adventures, and even discounts to the zoo.
Not all apps are bad, rather it’s how you manage your child’s time on those apps. Instead of blocking apps, try the above alternative methods to help manage your child’s screen time. You might just surprise yourself at how simple yet effective these methods are.
*these discounts & activities are only available to Singapore plano users.