We’re all aware that we are spending more and more time in front of our devices. And so are our kids; but just how much time may surprise you.
Thirty-eight percent of two-to-five-year-olds own an Android tablet and 32% own an iPad.
Almost a third of these kids also have a mobile phone. In general, access to these technologies and the internet can help kids learn and grow. However, with so many connected devices, kids are spending 44.5 hours per week in front of screens. That’s way more time than they’re spending outside or participating in other activities.
Here at Starry, we’re all about the internet. But also we’re aware it can be a huge distraction, especially at important moments. Phones at the dinner table get in the way of quality conversation. Gaming can interfere with homework time. Family game night is constantly interrupted by Snapchat and texts. Reigning in internet usage can be difficult, to say the least. But we think these tips will help:
- Keep a limited amount of devices in your child’s bedroom. A computer may be essential for homework, but removing it when it’s bedtime may prevent all-night distractions
- Limit video games to a certain amount of hours per week. Gaming in particular can be a hard habit to break (nearly 23% of youth report that they feel “addicted to video games”).
- Limit usage before bed. Many devices emit a blue light that can affect levels of melatonin, which can interfere with sleep.
- Set rules for device usage such as no phones at the dinner table or no computer games after 10pm. Make the rules consistent and easy to follow.
- Be a role model. If you’re telling your kids to put their phones away at dinner, make sure that you’re doing the same. Save work emails and text messages for later.
- Encourage other activities! Get outside and play a game of basketball with your kids after school or play a board game after dinner.
Even with the best intentions, we know that rules can be hard to follow. And that’s why we created ScreenTime parental controls to make things a bit easier. With ScreenTime on Starry Station, you can manage network-wide rules for when certain devices can and can’t be online. When devices are in ScreenTime, they won’t be able to connect to your home’s WiFi, making it quick and easy to monitor when your kids are online. Rules allow you to set specific days of the week and times that devices won’t be able to connect to WiFi.
We designed ScreenTime so that you could get the most out of your WiFi, and the most out of your family time. Families are a huge priority for us and we’re working hard on new ways to make ScreenTime even better.