As the use of technology and its role in society has increased, children are becoming increasingly exposed to digital life, from schoolwork to socialization, all of which present new challenges for parents.
Digital parenting focuses specifically on supporting and regulating children’s activities in digital environments, whether they’re learning online, playing video games with friends, or sharing content on social media. In raising these digital natives, parents are discovering that their traditional parenting tools aren’t effective enough in these new, uncharted waters.
This has wreaked havoc on the family system. Parents are facing issues, especially in privacy, safety, and screen time health, that they were completely unaware of and unprepared for.
That’s why Sofia Family was created: to provide parents with a tool that helps them tackle the challenges of navigating their family’s digital screen time health.
While many families are aware of safety and privacy issues, few are aware of the effects of time spent on gadgets. From physical ailments to mental health concerns, the amount of time kids spend on their gadgets should be of concern to parents.
There are no specific guidelines for how much time is too much screen time, but our Digital Parenting Expert, Kristen Chase, has three questions to determine whether your family is in a screen time crisis:
If any of those questions had you nodding your head, your family may need screen time intervention.
Read more from our Digital Parenting Expert.
Our Digital Parenting Expert, Kristen Chase, has helped many families discuss their screen time health. Here are a few tips to help you facilitate a discussion with your family:
We know that every family is different and will have different screen time health needs. Take a peek at how these two families are using Sofia Family.
Jill and Mike have two young girls, ages 9 and 11, and while the kids don’t have smart phones just yet, they love playing their Nintendo Switch and watching YouTube on their iPads, all after online school is done.
Jill and Mike want to start their girls off with good screen time habits, well before they get their first phone, so they’ve been using Sofia Family to help teach their kids how to make good screen time choices, so that when they start to use social media and text with their friends on smartphones, they’ll already have a solid foundation of healthy screen time habits.
Jamie has four kids, ages 17, 14, 12, and 10, all of whom battle it out constantly about screen time. She’s tried built-in screen time controls and even external router-based systems, and nothing has worked to help curb her kids’ screen time habits. And because they need their gadgets for school work and socializing, completely taking the gadgets away is not an option. Plus, she knows that they really need to learn how to self regulate.
Jamie implemented Sofia Family as a way to regain control over her family’s screen time and severely cut back on the time spent on gadgets in her home. Now that their screen time is regulated, Jamie is working with her kids to teach them how to regulate themselves. The kids can see their own screen time usage on their own phones, and decide how to allot their time in a way that’s mature and responsible.