Does your family need a digital detox? Do you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media or picking up your phone when you’re bored? In this episode, Josh sat down with Jill Simonian, TV Host & Entertainment Journalist turned Parenting Lifestyle Contributor, to talk about the negative impact screen time can have on students. If you are a parent looking for help keeping their children safe online, listen in as Jill shares some actionable strategies that you can use in your household.
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When does the habit of screen time addiction begin for kids?
It is so easy to get overwhelmed as a parent, especially since screen time addiction starts for children when they’re babies and toddlers. Avoid giving your children a device like an iPhone or iPad to appease them at a restaurant, in a store, or in the car. Once your child gets access to a device, that’s when screen time addiction can start to develop. You wouldn’t give your child a candy bar for breakfast every single morning just because they want it; consider treating screen time in the same manner.
What are some alternatives to screen time on long family road trips?
Instead of looking for alternatives to screen time, get old school. Have conversations with your children. Crank up their favorite music. Make up games for them to play (e.g. count how many trees we pass). However you decide to pass the time on a road trip, resist the urge to give them devices.
The 4 C’s of Social Media
Ways parents can limit screen time
- Learn how to function and thrive in a digital world
- Set limits not only for your kids but also for yourself
- Compartmentalize your time
How can parents monitor their student while respecting their privacy?
Parents should respect their child’s privacy. However, giving your child access to a device and not monitoring their activity is the equivalent of dropping them off in the most dangerous part of town without anything to protect them and saying, “good luck.” A lot of parents don’t understand that giving their student a cellphone is the gateway to a lot of dangers, especially if the parent doesn’t handle it with prudence and vigilance. Instead, be on the apps that your children use. Have your student’s passwords and know what apps they’re downloading. It’s also important for parents to be aware of the age restrictions of popular apps like YouTube and Instagram (which don’t allow users under the age of 13 create an account). Apps set age guidelines for a reason. Teach your children to be intentional when they’re online and on social media.
How can parents encourage their family to take a digital detox?
Try taking a social media break on the weekends. If going the whole weekend without social media seems too difficult, try going offline for one day and building up from there. Before taking your social media break, announce that you will be going offline and specify the length of time you will be offline. During your digital detox, don’t check social media or your email inbox. At first it can feel like you’re missing out on something but then it becomes mentally freeing. When you’ve finished your digital detox, add the apps back to your device but put them on the last page so they’re harder to access and turn off notifications so that you decide when to check these apps. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to respond to every notification right away.
Digital safety resources for parents
- Wait Until 8th
- The Fab Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby by Jill Simonian
- Free Course: Learn The Negative Impact of Student Social Media & Screen Time
- Parent University
About our podcast guest
Jill Simonian is a TV Host & Entertainment Journalist turned Parenting Lifestyle Contributor on-air and online — her most recent, long-running gig was on CBS LOS ANGELES — over 175 twice-weekly segments & discussions about today’s hottest and most concerning parenting issues on KCAL-9 & CBS-2 news (between Feb 2016 & Jan 2018)! You might also know her from NBC’s TODAY Show, HLN, Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” & more. Jill is also the author of The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby.