Screen time and kids: A guide for parents

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Some Christmas gifts, like getting a smartphone, can be an exciting milestone for children, but worrisome for parents. Here’s what you need to know about the new journey.

Smartphones and social media go hand-in-hand and they have become a nearly universal part of teens’ lives. Roughly 95% of U.S. teens age 13 to 17 say they have access to a smartphone or use social media.

One concern parents often express is the amount of time their children spend on their devices. According to a recent study, 65% of parents who have teens say they worry about their teen spending too much time in front of screens.

Limiting Screen Time

Now, major smartphone corporations have made limiting screen time more manageable for parents. Apple and Android devices usually have built-in parental controls and provide step by step instructions on how to monitor and limit children’s usage.

Apple has introduced iOS 13.3, a new form of software that is available for both iPads and iPhones, providing families safe ways to control communication, screen time, and various other parental controls.

How to Access Restrictions for Apple Products:

  1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time
  2. Choose “This is my device” or “This is my child’s Device.”
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions
    Make sure to set up a passcode that is different from the one used to unlock the device.
    You can even authenticate the restriction with Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode.
  4. Once a passcode has been established, you can set up downtime with a set schedule for time away from the screen, and limit the allotted time they are given on a specific app.

Click here for the step by step directions on how to set up each restriction.

How to Access Restrictions for Android Products:

Androids vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, check with your cell phone carrier to ensure proper installation.

Most Android phones have a setting for Digital Wellbeing”. To view it as an app, open in it your Settings and then turn on Show icon in the app list.

The first time you open Digital Wellbeing, you need to set up your profile.

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  3. Under “Your Digital Wellbeing tools,” tap Show your data or click on one of the apps displayed to get more detail and adjust settings for that app.

Click here for step by step directions on how to set up each restriction and manage screen time.

Resources:

Bark Connect (Apple | Android): A social media and e-mail monitoring app that sends alerts when it detects unsafe activity. It analyzes all device activity and alerts parents when a problem is found. If they get an alert, parents will see the content in question and get suggestions on how to handle it ($9/month).


Limitly (Apple | Android): If screen time this app lets you track your kid’s app use and limit time using the device or certain apps (free, Android-only).


Pocket Guardian (Apple | Android): Parents get alerts when sexting, bullying, or explicit images are detected on your kid’s device. ($9.99–$12.99/month).


NetNanny: Parents can monitor digital habits and protect from harmful content, manage screen time and filter website browsing content ($11 per device/year).

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