parents

5 simple ways to manage your kids screen time better.

My mother was lucky: she only had one screen to worry about.

By BERN MORLEY

As parents in 2013, we are confronting a brave new world. Certainly one our own parents had no idea about.

I mean, the only screen my mother had to worry about was the television.

As there was only one of these in the entire house and only 2 hours dedicated to children’s programs per day, she knew her biggest worry was my reaction when Ms Helena failed once AGAIN to mention me when looking through her looking glass on Romper Room.

For the record, she never saw Bernadette. I have moved on though. *Ahem*

In 2013 however, our children have access to myriad screens and although we would all like to say we take the high road and don’t allow our children to view these, let’s face it, most of us do and to be honest, there is nothing wrong with that. As long as you manage your kids screen time well. So here are some tips on how to do that

 Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by ASUS. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.

1. Set an example.

If you’re anything like me, this is the first thing I do each morning. I wake up (via an alarm set on my smart phone), hit snooze 800 times and then bring it into bed with me like a baby kitten. I check my different social media outlets because hey, something may have happened in the last 7 hours since I last checked. I HATE this about myself.

I walk downstairs and turn on the TV and the laptop and check other sources. In between all this, I flick on the jug, wake up the kids and entice them to come downstairs for breakfast. Meanwhile they watch me check the news on 3 different screens. This isn’t restricted to mornings. It happens at night too. This is a bad example I have been setting for my children. Less checking screens, more talking.

2. Keep screens out of bedrooms.

This goes for televisions and computers/tablets alike. Children do not need that kind of stimulation in their bedrooms. It has been proven that children who watch a screen an hour before bedtime, have trouble falling
asleep, leading to less sleep which consequently means they are less attentive in school the following day.

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Change the Wi-Fi password daily.

This is essentially for older children. Those children on the cusp of young adulthood. Those

Change the wi-fi password daily.

that think that the world revolves around them. The ones that think that they can leave last week’s juice cup beside their bed and this will not come with its own consequences.

To change the password is simple. To clean their room to an acceptable standard is equally simple. As long as they understand that their access to the Wi-Fi depends on this, they will soon get the message.

4. Download an an AppLocker.

Now this is genius. On the ASUS MeMo Pad, the AppLocker allows you set a password on individual apps meaning that they can’t be opened unless the password is known and entered. We all have apps on our tablets we don’t want our children to access for both privacy and age restriction reasons, so this means you can be secure in the knowledge that when your child is using your ASUS MeMo Pad tablet, they will only be accessing the music, movies, games and educational apps that you wish them to.

5. Limit children’s screen time.

It is recommended that 5-18 year olds accumulate no more than 2 hours of screen time for entertainment purposes, per day. For 2-5 year olds, it’s one hour. So obviously, this, on a long day at home is often exceeded. We’ve all been there, but the trick is to manage your kids screen time by making the time that they are using or watching a screen, to be as educational as possible.

Speaking of screens, ASUS have an amazing Memo Pad they would like to give one lucky Mamamia reader to win. The Memo pad is excellent for outdoor reading, has super fast, smooth performance, can be held in one hand, has 30% more screen space than other tablets and a 5 MP reversible camera to catch all of life’s unforgettable moments.See below for entry details.

ASUS MeMo Pad

The ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 is available from major retailers, including Harvey Norman and Myer, for RRP$199. Find out more here.