Most parents agree their kids spend too much on their digital devices. As in, way too much time. According to a recent survey by Common Sense Media, 66% of moms and dads felt that their children spent too much time on social media, playing games, texting and the like. This is based on a poll of 1,240 interviews with parents and kids aged 12 – 18. Not a very surprising statistic to be sure. But here comes the less expected part: That same survey revealed that exactly half of the interviewed teens felt they spent way too much time on screens. Yep. A full 50% of kids described themselves as addicted to their devices. So, how do you find that screen-time sweet spot? Managing screen time with Forcefield’s App Sleeper lets automatically turn off apps, games and social networks on all of your kids’ mobile devices, from the convenience of your own phone.
How to use Forcefield’s App Sleeper?
On Demand: Parents can sleep all apps on all of their kids’ devices from their own phone at any time. Simply open the Forcefield Parent app, or log in to your Parent Dashboard, choose which child, and select “Sleep Apps Now.” Apps will instantly disappear from all off their devices. And they won’t reappear until you tell them to via the “Wake Apps Now” option.
On a Timer: The timer feature enables you to turn off apps on all of your child’s mobile devices for a specific time period. Want a tech-free 30 minutes to enjoy dinner? How about two-hours of digital downtime to get the kids outside and running around? Once that time period is up, apps will automatically reappear on all of their devices.
On a Schedule: Forcefield’s App Sleeper also allows you to create schedules that automatically shut down and wake apps on your kids’ mobile devices. From your Parent Portal or by using the Parent App, you can create customized schedules to determine when all apps, games and social networks automatically go off. Want those distractions off during homework time or when you need your kids to be asleep? This is how to do it.
Why is digital downtime important?
Tech-Free Dinner Time
Study after study underscores the importance of the family dinner ritual. Kids who sit down to dinner as a family five or more days a week are found over and over again to eat healthier, do better in school, and have less trouble with drugs and alcohol later in life. Too often, however, those meals are interrupted by texts, updates and emails. (Parents are included in this as well!)
Because it can be challenging to serve dinner on an exact schedule every night, the evening meal is a great opportunity for parents to use the App Sleeper’s timer function for however long is usually spent at the table — distraction free!
Late Night Screen Time
According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. One study found that only 15% of teens reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights. One of the primary reasons teens don’t get enough sleep is — you saw this one coming — digital distractions.
A full 48% of teens say their sleep is disturbed by the urge to check phones in the middle of the night. With the App Sleeper scheduler, you can keep those devices off all night, reducing the digital distractions that keep so many kids from getting enough rest.
Getting kids to focus is no small feat, especially when we as parents have a hard time modeling it ourselves! With constant social media updates, group texts and the pressure to check in, kids can often feel pulled in a million directions. But the toll of multitasking is huge: Simply put, our brains aren’t designed to listen to music while checking in on Facebook while writing that term paper. Typically, the result is that we do all poorly when we try to do things at the same time.
A Common Sense Media survey revealed that of the 6-9 daily hours that children and teens spend consuming media, much of that time involves consuming two forms of media simultaneously. Help your child focus on one task a time during critical concentration hours like homework by taking the distractions away.