Social media, what can I say about it? Parenting in the age of smartphones is like trying to find your way through a maze without a map – challenging and a bit confusing. I might not be a tech expert, but I’ve realized that when it comes to my kids and their phones, a little dose of control is a good thing. It’s not about being the tech police; it’s just about trying to figure out this whole parenting in a digital world!
Imagine this: You’re at a family get-together, and all the kids are buried in their phones, swiping like there’s no tomorrow. I don’t think we need to imagine that much because we see it constantly everyday. But, now, picture your kid’s phone as the VIP pass to this digital party – always in demand. Well, not at my house. I’ve set a rule – no grabbing the phone whenever they feel like it. It’s my way of being the captain of our own digital ship.
Ziana Eliz is 11-years-old and Gunner is 7-years-old, she takes her phone to school, he does not. As soon as she gets in the car the phone is off. When she gets home she put the phone down and doesn’t bother going on it again unless its to facetime her grandparents, her bestie and do makeup or work on some canva backgrounds. Gunner likes to take the phone to vlog (very adorable).
What else I’m strict about
No social media access, NO YOUTUBE, limited TV, and NO INTERNET. They’re all blocked. Yes, even YouTube. They can’t see everything that’s uploaded and there’s very sexual things on there, including YouTube shirts. When it comes to movies or shows, they need to be okayed with us first. It gives us time to search up what the show or movie is about and if there will be inappropriate scenes.
So, why am I doing this? I’m not against tech or TV, I use social media for work and love TV! But there’s a sweet spot between letting them use tech and making sure they’re not drowning in it. They respect the rules and have yet to compare themselves to other kids who can use their phones 24/7. THANK GOD!
How friends and families feel
Many of my friends and family members know where I stand on the phone issue. If we’re getting together to spend sometime with one another, why are the phones out? Most of them respect that and understand it, it makes sense when I put it in perspective! Phones for what? To scroll online and be a zombie together while you see dances and people talking crap about themselves and others?
Even when we go to restaurants, no phones (well they dont bring them when we go out), but for Boytoy and myself, no phones. No screens that the restaurants sometimes have. We talk. We play games like “I Spy”, we’ve even done Uno at the table while we wait. My kids are great communicators, they make eye contact, they respond, ask questions. Something that was done in the early 1900’s (lol).
Have Make your kids ditch their phones! Don’t ask, you’re the PARENT, kids don’t run you. YOU RUN THEM! Did the people in the back hear me? Have them remember what it’s like to use their brains a bit. Think about it – there’s a whole world out there beyond those notifications. Imagine the cool stuff they could come up with or chat about if they give their brains a break from the constant phone buzz.
And in case you’re a bullet points person instead, here ya go:
- Mental Health Matters: Excessive screen time, especially on social media, can lead to anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. Kids are still figuring out who they are – let’s not make it harder for them. Social media, Youtube, and TV, easily influences your kids on who they should be, how they should act, talk, dress, do. Not everything is appropriate either! Youtube has p0rn-like videos that are easily accessible.
- Distraction vs. Learning: The constant ping of notifications can turn homework time into a Snapchat session. Phones on demand mean constant distractions, hindering their ability to focus on learning. And focusing is something that is extremely hard for kids to do this day, heck even adults.
- Safety First: The internet is a vast ocean, and not all parts are safe for them. By blocking certain apps and content, I’m acting as their online navigation system, steering them clear of potential digital storms. Keep reading and I’ll share an amazing app I use to help me.
- Building Real Connections: Social skills aren’t built through emoji conversations. SHOCKER! By putting the phones on pause, you’re encouraging face-to-face interactions, helping them develop the essential skill of genuine human connection.
Now, what’s this amazing app I use? Kidslox, I’ve got the power to block social media, Safari, and YouTube. It’s like having a digital bouncer for their devices. You can block individual apps, and set up a schedule. Kidslox protects your child from over 4 million inappropriate URLs and can see only the search results allowed by Google SafeSearch and Youtube restricted mode. You can also manually add sites to be blocked. Even keep track of their location. They can’t delete the app. You get detailed reports and more!
Let’s remember the simple joy of face-to-face chats, spontaneous adventures, and the untapped power of our imaginations. The real magic happens when we look up from the screens, breathe in the present, and embrace the possibilities around us. Here’s to more moments unplugged, filled with laughter, creativity, and genuine human connection!