Kids growing up and gaining independence can be a blessing and also a worry. For example, when young ones reach the age to warrant their personal smartphones, we adults deliberate over the consequences of opening their doors to a whole new Internet world.
We fret over how much time they’ll spend on their smartphones, worry about what online sites they’ll visit or get apprehensive when they have one friend too many on social media.
Here are 3 suggestions on how to inculcate good smartphone usage habits among our children for our own peace of mind.
#1 Screen time, not all the time
Before consenting to buy your child a new smartphone, make him/her promise that he/she can be trustworthy with the phone and adhere to curfews you set on usage. Kids may inevitably glue themselves to their phone screens when they are commuting to and from school but they must learn to be able to put mobile devices away appropriately, such as during meals, revision time or bedtime.
Teach your child from a young age that unconstrained usage of smartphones can be detrimental and even affect their studies. Encourage them to spend a balanced amount of time on varied activities. Less time on the phone affords more time for sports, sleep, family bonding and not to mention, relieves the strain on one’s eyesight!
#2 Share and communicate
Inculcate the habit of making your child share their online activities. Ask them what game app they’re into recently; what’s the funniest photo they’ve liked on social media today; which video or news article they’ve come across this week.
Efforts made to engage kids this way help you learn more about their interests as well as identify possible red flags in their online activities. Encourage them to inform you when they come across questionable content or encounter people they meet online that make them feel uncomfortable.
#3 Put safeguards in place
Impressionable young minds still require a lot of guidance to discern right from wrong. Parents are unable to physically monitor kids 24/7 hence a parental control tool such as StarHub’s JuniorProtect Plus can help to protect your child online.
Some useful features of JuniorProtect Plus:
- Manage your child’s mobile data and time spent online, e.g. restrict data usage during exam periods so they focus on their studies.
- Block unsafe content with preset filters according to your child’s maturity, e.g. dating, violence, drugs, gambling and pornography or customise settings such as blocking off specific social media or downloading sites and receive SMS/email alerts when they try to access a blocked site.
- Track your child’s location trails so that you know they are safe even when you’re not beside them.
All these features can be easily accessed when parents like you log in to the JuniorProtect portal with your StarHub’s Hub ID login, thus saving you the hassle of having to download another app or remember another account password.
Get a mobile plan with parental control today!
Sign up a mobile line for your child with StarHub Corporate Individual Scheme (CIS) and enjoy free 12 months of JuniorProtect Plus (U.P. $64.20)
Find out more about StarHub Corporate Individual Scheme (CIS) Youth Perks here.