Ludi Wiggins, Marketing Manager at Aussie telco Yomojo, is no stranger to technology. With over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing, and a young daughter and son that keep her on her toes, Ludi is passionate about educational tech and helping families navigate through the ever-changing digital landscape.
With Safer Internet Day taking place earlier this week, we asked Ludi her top tips for how parents can moderate their child’s screen time and keep them safe online.
- Be informed
It’s clear that technology isn’t going away, and keeping up with what seems like a never-ending stream of new apps, games and devices can often leave parents feeling completely overwhelmed.
Thankfully, parents can be kept across the latest gadgets and apps simply by reading the latest tech news across their preferred news sites (such as the daily newspapers or Women Love Tech!), which will cover what’s trending.
There are also some great benefits in keeping up to date with what’s available. We’ve recently created a child Apple ID for my eight year old and I love the fact that she can communicate with me via iMessage when she needs something and I’m at work.
She’s really starting to progress and we often joke she’s much more advanced than my husband!
- Set an example
If you’re like me, and sometimes find your phone sneaking its way to the dinner table, or you’re checking emails during a walk at the park – it might be time for a reset.
As we know, children are like sponges and they watch how adults interact with the world around them – this includes use of their mobile, tablet and laptop.
I’ve found it’s a lot harder to talk about moderation of screen time with your child when you’re not living the same mantra.
- A few simple rules
With more kids becoming addicted to their mobile devices, there are simple solutions to help take the first step in combating screen addiction.
Help them rectify these early signs of addiction by setting easy-to-action rules.
For my family, we have a no screen time rule in the house that includes as soon as I walk in the door from work and during dinner. Also on weekends if we do “family” activities, sometimes the only way for me to disconnect is to leave my phone at home or in the car – extreme, but sometimes it’s the only way!
Other steps include setting tech-free zones in the house (such as the kitchen or lounge room) and encouraging them to spend more time enjoying real-world activities.
- Use parental controls
It can sometimes feel almost impossible to keep track of our kids’ screen time every second of the day. In the infinite stretches of the internet, children can often accidently end up on sites that are extremely unsuitable – and in some cases, unsafe.
Yomojo’s FamilyEye allows parents to manage children’s social media usage, control website usage, adjust app restrictions and track location – all with an easy-to-follow dashboard.
It was designed to be super simple and gives peace of mind that your kids are being responsible, and being protected from unwanted content.
It’s proven kids don’t cope with a lot of screen time in one hit and definitely notice it in their behaviour – so this is where parental control apps really help.
- Have a conversation
Keeping kids away from technology completely just isn’t possible these days. With schools opening their doors to BYO devices, and technology embedded in school curriculums, it is crucial for them to understand the responsibility that comes with using technology.
This means opening the floor to having regular conversations, so your kids are aware of relevant issues, including the potential pitfalls of abusing technology.
I find that setting regular check-ins, such as at the start of every school term, helps open the discussion to any concerns and any questions your kids might have.
My daughter is at an age where all the kids at school are playing Roblox at school – I don’t have an issue with her playing and chatting to people, but I’ll often sit next to her and chat about what she’s doing. We also talk about never giving personal details away and we NEVER let her have her iPad in her bedroom.
Over time, this will help normalise, and help navigate, what can be a very confusing topic for the entire family.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Ludi Wiggins for her article.