Staying in control when it comes to kids and screens
Earlier this month I shared my initial thoughts of Kidslox, a parenting control app for android and iOS devices that allows you to set the limits when it comes to screen time as well as content, apps and online safety. If you are regular reader of my blog you will probably already know I am wary when it comes to my kids and having any kind of access to the online world. It may at times seem quite contradictory since my job revolves around myself using social media daily but that doesn't mean my kids need access to.
I grew up in a very active and outgoing family, I have always loved being outdoors and living in South Africa for 19yrs allowed me to spend hours on end running around the garden, climbing trees and being a typical child but that typical child model is now being lost to hours and hours of easily accessible screen time and for many reasons. I don't think it's hard to dispute that even from a very young age screen time is addictive whether it be in the form of TV or tablet and while I feel there are many educational apps that genuinely aid learning there is much that can be damaging.
John would certainly describe me as being strict when it comes to screen time and my children, I do set restrictions which I keep and I also participate in these restrictions as I always make a point of using my phone or laptop as little as possible when my kids are around, in fact when this happens it's usually only out of necessity or due to a work emergency. We tend to keep daytimes screen free, especially on weekends and then when it comes to preparing our evening meal is when I allow for some TV time but lately my eldest has been asking to use our tablet and this has thrown up some issues. Firstly he can navigate the tablet very well when means while I think he is using an educational app he could actually be watching something less appropriate on You Tube and thats where Kidslox comes into play, it allows me to block certain content I am not personally comfortable with as well as limit usage times which is something that is important to me.
As a family we have always believed in the saying "everything in moderation", we don't want to deny our children of anything but equally we are here to guide them and make them aware that spending time outdoors is highly important to your inner wellbeing, as is reading, writing, crafting and making time for the ones you love and being present when family members need each other.
There have been many well researched articles about the effects too much screen time has on children and their moods which is often in a negative way, this is fairly well known and yet as parents because our lives have become increasingly busier and more stressful many are resorting to screens as a way to keep children occupied, there is nothing wrong with doing this every so often such as when you are on a long train trip or your under the weather and really need a little break but what we are seeing more and more is young children having access to screens for hours on end daily. Of course having access to the internet brings up many safety issues as well which I won't go into but apps like Kidslox help prevent this and give control back to the parents which is where it needs to be especially when they are still young. If your looking to regain a healthy balance to your home than apps such as Kidslox can certainly help with that and they offer a 14 day trial to see how you get on with it and personally knowing I have this extra control does offer me some peace of mind.