Phones and tablets – When should children be allowed on technology?

It can be a very tricky situation to manage – your child has an I-Pad or a smartphone, but when do you stop them using their device? How do you stop them using it at certain times, without an argument?

It has been brought to my attention that some children at St Catherine’s are using their technology at very inappropriate hours, and that parents are struggling to find ways of preventing this from happening, without huge arguments. Most mornings I overhear children say that they are tired because they were up all night due to groups of children messaging each other on Whatsapp, Viber, Skype or by other means. This is having a huge impact on their ability to learn, as they are often too tired and unfocused in class.

How can I solve this issue?

A simple way to alleviate this issue is to set an agreed time with your child, for when they are no longer allowed to use their technology. Some parents choose to do this before a family meal and others before their children get ready for bed. Whatever you decide, this does need to be enforced and set in place as soon as your child has their device. As long as you have a discussion with your child, explaining why this needs to happen and agreeing together that this is necessary, then they won’t feel like they are being unfairly treated – this is important to establish trust and a willingness to talk to adults about their use of technology.

Syncing Devices:

Another hugely helpful way to monitor your child’s use of a device is to sync it to your own device. This can be done on a range of technology. You can do this in secret or agree this with your child, up to you. But it is an effective way of making sure that messages your child is receiving and sending are appropriate and only being sent/received as appropriate times.

How do I sync Apple products?

On your I-Phone: Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > You Can Be Reached By, and add a check to both your phone number and email address. Go to Messages > Text Message Forwarding, and enable the device(s) you would like to forward messages to. Your Mac, I-Pad, or I-Pod touch will display a code. Enter this code on your I-Phone to verify the SMS feature.

Josh David – Computing Co-ordinator