Having weekly, short, calm conversations with your family about tech is so important. Tech Talk Tuesday (TTT), our weekly blog, offers you tools and tips for discussions. Families tell us it’s making a huge difference. Visit our website www.screenagersmovie.com/tech-talk-tuesdays/ to try one. It’s never too late to start a conversation about technology but often doing it in baby steps is more effective. —Delaney Ruston, MD, filmmaker of Screenagers
4 Basic rules to consider— (go to www.screenagersmovie.com to find ways to enforce rules)
1. No screens in bedrooms when kids and teens go to sleep (for younger kids keep screens out completely). Fact: 75% teens get inadequate sleep. The presence of devices disrupts sleep cycles.
2. Set time goals for studying without multitasking and then, also, take tech breaks. Fact: Multitasking is linked to less retention and poorer academic outcomes.
3. Eat family meals without devices. Fact: Face-to-face conversations improve mood and empathy.
4. Put phones and devices away in the car. Fact: More than half of kids report seeing their parents text while driving.
3 Tips to help your child build self-control
1. Science shows that positive rewards work better than punishment. For example, if youobserve your child focused while doing their homework without their device, praise them.
2. Build times when tech is out of sight. Self-control is hard, so decrease temptations.
3. Use TTT to let your kids share with you about the reasons they like tech in their lives—the more they feel understood, the more they’ll work with you on tech limits.
● How much time do you think kids in the US spend looking at screens? (Kids spend an average of 6.5 hours a day on screens, not including classroom or homework.)
● How much time do you think you spend each week on screen-related activities?
● The film featured a study in which baby mice exposed to screen time developed fewer cells in the areas of learning and memory than non-exposed mice. Do you think this is true for humans too?
● Do you think violent video games desensitize people to violence?
● What are some popular games that don’t involve violence?
● Have you experienced people using screens to avoid face-to-face interactions? Do you ever make comments online that you wouldn’t make in person?
Resources at www.screenagersmovie.com
● Screen Time Contracts—Tips and screen time contracts templates, including Tessa’s contract
● Parenting Apps—Tools that automatically turn off tech at certain times
● Digital Citizenship—Links to help teach this at home and in schools
● Parenting Tips—Ongoing practical advice from our blog, TTT and more
What Are Tech Time Circles?
Friendly conversations about issues related to screen-time and device use. Parents, kids, friends, family and community members gather in the comfort of their homes to speak, listen and learn how best to manage screen time and the effects it is having on our wellbeing. We provide you with links to free guides to help get it going. Currently, we have 3 Tech Talk Circles, and will roll out more in the next few months:
Social Media Tech Talk Circle
Video Games Tech Talk Circle
Time Tech Talk Circle
Screentime Management Apps
- Apple’s own Screen time built into the hardware on iOS 12 for iPhones and iPads
- Circle with Disney WiFi router - Small box as well as an app that pairs with your router,Individual content filters for each family member
- OurPact - The control phone can block other phones for any period of time and unblock at any time
- Moment - Set limits on screen time, tracks how much you use your phone during the day
- Pocket Points - Gain points by keeping your phone locked when you’re on campus, use points to get discounts and coupons to businesses near you
- Bark - Social Media, text and email monitoring with parental alerts
- unGlue - Set limits on screen time and set a recurring schedule on each device
- Protect Your Kid - Set limits on screen time and blocks access to apps and adult content
- Screen Time Parental Control - Pause a device or give bonus time, set schedules for apps and lights out
- Mobicip - Set schedules on each device, filter content and limit screen time
- Curbi - Remotely turn off the internet to a device, filter content, set schedules
- NetSanity - Remotely turn off the internet to a device, filter content, set schedules
- FamilyTime - Geofence locations, set schedules and track device locations
- Net Nanny - Parental controls, not great for mobile but good for PCs
- Mobile Fence - Parental controls and GPS tracking for Android devices
- Verizon Family Base - Monitor wireless activity and set usage limits
- AT&T Secure Family - Manage internet and email activity on computers
- T-Mobile Family Mode - Manage minutes, messages and downloads on phones
- Sprint Mobile Controls - Monitor phone usage
- XFINITY TV Online parental controls - Restricts what children can watch online