Parenting

How to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OurPact.

I was thinking the other day about how different my childhood was compared to my 10 year old daughter’s. I grew up in the 80’s and life seemed simpler then. I spent most of my summer vacation outdoors playing, getting dirty and just being a kid doing regular kid activities. I smile at the memories because they were some of the best times of my life.

Bridget, my 10 year old daughter, does many of these regular kid things too, but not at the same level. It’s different now with technology EVERYWHERE. We are all digitally connected, adults and kids alike. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and rely on it daily. However, I can’t help but long for those carefree days of my own childhood for my daughter. I feel she is missing out on just being a kid.

A couple years ago, I gave Bridget an iPad for Christmas. I saw her eyes light up when she unwrapped the gift and it filled me with joy to see how much she loved it. Years later, she is still using that iPad and many times, I’ve wished I never bought it for her. I feel it’s the main reason why she is missing out and it’s all my fault.

How to Manage Your Child's Screen Time - It`s so EASY to set limits, block and allow access to sites, apps and more!

How to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time

I’ve talked with other friends who feel the same way as me and are concerned with how much time their child spends in front of a screen. We reminisce about how things were back in the good ol’ days and talk about how crazy it is how pervasive technology is in the home.

Did you know the average child spends almost 50 hours per week in front of screens? When I first read that statistic, I was floored. How could that number be so high? What happened to just being a kid? That is more hours than adult spends working full-time for one week! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends around 14 hours per week of screen time for kids.

I don’t think Bridget is quite at 50 hours per week, but I know it’s more than the recommended amount. She adores Minecraft and can play it for hours on her iPad in her room. This week, she showed me the mall she had built, complete with different stores! She was excited to share with me her hard work. I felt proud and sad at the same time. Mom guilt hit and I wondered if I was letting her spend too much time on her iPad?

I’ve also caught her playing Minecraft when she should be sleeping and I’ve had to take the iPad out of her room. It can sometimes lead to a temper tantrum and that is not fun for anyone.

Technology is a valuable and essential tool, but there is a time and place for it. I’ve taken control of the obsessive screen time in my house with the help of OurPact, an app that helps me manage my daughter’s use of technology. It was a gamechanger for our family. My introduction to it couldn’t have come at a better time.

How to Manage Your Child's Screen Time - It`s so EASY to set limits, block and allow access to sites, apps and more!

OurPact is so much more than just a parental control tool. There really is nothing else like out out there for families!

Here are a few of my favourite features:

  • Ability to schedule Internet and app use according to your child’s routine
  • Set the number of hours a day your child can spend online and within apps
  • Block AND allow access to website and apps with one touch
  • Block all apps (ie. Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, etc) as you see fit

How to Manage Your Child's Screen Time - It`s so EASY to set limits, block and allow access to sites, apps and more!

The best part is that it won’t cost you a penny! OurPact is free to download on iTunes. It’s also extremely easy to set up. I downloaded OurPact on my iPhone and then paired my daughter’s iPad to my account. I control everything from the app dashboard on my iPhone.

I’ve set up a bed time schedule to ensure that she can’t play Minecraft when she is supposed to be sleeping. Once it’s in place, I don’t have to do anything – set it and forget it!

I also do not want her having SnapChat so we’ve blocked that particular app. In addition, I limit her use of YouTube because she will sit and watch videos of others playing Minecraft for hours. Yes, that really is a thing these days!

With OurPact, we can customize it to work for our families needs and teach kids the responsible use of technology. I have no plans to stop her from using her iPad as I think it’s an important part of growing up in today’s world. However, I want to see her do other things too. We’ve talked about her screen time and about why it’s important that she have other interests. She understands and says she knows sometimes she spends too much time on it. We’ve come up with a list of other fun activities to do that don’t involve the iPad. Today, she’s having a blast swimming with a friend and the iPad is tucked away in the house.

This family contract is a great way to open the discussion about responsible use of technology.

Want to use OurPact in your home too? Download the OurPact app on iTunes today to get started. OurPact is coming to Android at the end of October so keep your eyes open for it!

Are you concerned with your child’s amount of screen time? 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OurPact.

How to Manage Your Child's Screen Time - It`s so EASY to set limits, block and allow access to sites, apps and more!

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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