Why Limiting Your Child's Screen Time Is Ineffective

Modern Parenting Tips
By
Cyber Dive
Apr 26, 2022
5 min read

When it comes to the effects of screen time, kids are always considered the most at risk. Children younger than 18 are still very easily influenced and have minds that are still developing.

As a parent, how many times have you been told that your young child is spending too much screen time online? Or that more than two hours in front of their phone is considered excessive screen time? Or that too much screen time is guaranteed to negatively affect their mental health?

And let me guess, the bandaid solution you've been provided is to enforce screen time limitations?

This has become all too common when parents decide it's time to introduce digital media to their young kids.

At the end of the day, your decision to limit screen time is completely up to you and what you think is best for your kids. But...

What if screen time isn’t the villain?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than the age of 2 should not spend time in front of screens unless it is video chatting. So this means you would need to eliminate background tv when your child is around and avoid them being in front of computer screens, phones, tablets, etc. Now, this is just unrealistic. And to be honest, sometimes a little entertainment allows for you to get a moment to yourself- as we know these are hard to come by when you're raising kids.

In an article hosted on Common Sense Media, a mom brought to light real-life situations and instances when screen media use can be beneficial or necessary for a moms' sanity. She recommended some tips to involve screens in moderation, with high-quality programming for her children younger than 18 months. This mom's tips included not letting screens replace face-to-face interactions and finding age-appropriate content depending on your kids' ages.

What if screen time isn’t the villain?

Recent screen time studies have been conducted regarding the question of whether excessive screen time is specifically the issue and little evidence has found a direct correlation between the amount of time spent in front of a screen and one’s overall wellbeing.

More and more pediatricians and researchers have begun to believe that it's less about the amount of time spent on screens and more about the type of online experiences young kids are having during this time. So in short, screen time may not be the root problem, so why are so many people trying to control it.

So, how can you become more involved in your child’s online life and less dependent on trying to limit screen time?

What problems are screen time limits really fixing?

Smartphones have made it extremely easy for us to track our screen time and set limits on specific apps to refrain from consuming too much screen time. You can set it up to kick you off after more than two hours of screen use or six hours.

For many of us, this encourages us to take a step away from our digital devices. In some situations, it can be helpful to take this approach to our screen time, especially if you feel you have developed an unhealthy addiction to Instagram, video chatting, mindlessly watching TikToks, etc.

But, for many of the modern-day issues that your young child is facing online, this is an ineffective attempt at improving their online experiences.

Think about it this way...

Which situation would you rather have your child be in?

  1. Your child is in the age group of 9-12. They sign in to their Instagram account and the first thing they see is three new comments on their latest post. The first comment says “It’s not too late to delete this”, the second says “this trend is so last week” and the third says “haha stop...you're embarrassing yourself”.
  2. Within seconds they have become a victim of cyberbullying. They delete the post and spend the rest of the day worrying about what others think of them, nervous to go to school the next day.
  3. Your child signs into their TikTok account and spends over an hour scrolling through their For You Page. This curated feed is filled with TikToks related to baseball, magic tricks, ways to be eco-friendly, yummy dessert recipes, and creatively edited videos.
  4. After following a few new accounts and liking some videos, they put their phone down, with a smile on their face, and go downstairs for dinner.

Was the amount of time the issue?

Based on those two situations, was the amount of time your child spent online the determining factor?

Of course not. It’s what happened during that time that affected their mood.

The argument for setting restrictions and implementing screen time limits is usually to protect your child from these situations, but would a screen time limit have changed anything?

Nowadays, negative experiences can happen anywhere at any time. Not to mention, limiting a child’s screen time and online access often leads to sneaky and defiant behavior.

Parents know all too well that kids love to do the opposite of what they are told. When you set these restrictions, your child will likely figure out a way to work around them, which undermines the overall goal of strengthening the parent/child relationship.

This is where your involvement can make all the difference.

How Involvement Strengthens Parent/Child Relationships

Allowing your child the freedom to explore social media partnered with active parent involvement ultimately results in the development of long-term, healthy digital habits for children.

In order to do this, you must take responsibility for teaching your child to make intentional, conscientious decisions online. They need a parent’s guidance to teach them how to post, engage and interact in a way that represents them in a positive light and leaves them feeling confident and inspired. This requires consistent conversations about your expectations for how they will use social media and how to handle certain online situations.

Introducing Online Freedom

Allowing online freedom provides you with the opportunity to teach your child on and offline social skills, the importance of a positive online reputation, and how negative online situations can be used as learning opportunities for improving future online responsibility.

The goal is that, over time, they will become more and more aware of how their online actions affect themselves and others. This way, rather than attempting to shield them from negative content and weakening that trust, you can leverage their time spent online as a tool to become closer with your child and strengthen your relationship.

So, how can I become involved in my child’s online life?

If you’re asking this question, you’re one step ahead.

Parents either go for restrictions and limitations or are too optimistic about their child’s online activity and unaware of the true blind spot that is affecting their relationship with their child.

Cyber Dive's platform can be utilized as a parenting tool by bridging the gap between what a parent thinks their child is doing online versus the reality of a child's online experiences.

Say Hello to Aqua One

Aqua One the perfect smartphone for kids at a young age. Get full monitoring access.

Cyber Dive’s mission is to prioritize wellness and create tech that empowers.

With children spending more and more time in front of their digital devices, it is becoming more evident than ever for parents to get involved in this aspect of their life. To address this, we have created a smartphone for kids that provides unlimited monitoring for parents, the Aqua One.

Parents have a screaming pain to better understand, protect, and support their children in every way possible and we want to empower them to be there for their children in every way possible.

Rather than encouraging the restriction of their child’s access to certain sites and apps or setting screen time limitations, we created a fully functional smartphone with unlimited parental monitoring capabilities.

How does it work?

Our web application gives you the opportunity to gain all of this insight in real-time, from your own phone. Every time your child downloads a new app or watches a TikTok or even makes an Incognito Google search, you'll be right there. Some examples of what you'll see on your parent dashboard...

Aqua One parent dashboard actions and text messages.

Not only does the Aqua One provide this consistent activity access, but it comes installed with our one-of-a-kind Mental Health Check feature. This feature prompts your child to answer age-based questions that address different aspects of their life that may be affecting their mental wellness. This opens up conversations around mental health and ensures that you are being proactive in nurturing their emotional well-being.

Prioritize your child's well being with Aqua One Mental Health Check.

How can Aqua One be used as a parenting tool?

It is more than likely that your child will come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable or brings up questions they didn’t have before.

When this happens, your involvement will allow you to know when it is time to initiate tough conversations about topics like mental health, exploring one’s sexuality, bullying, or self-esteem. You have the opportunity to step in and be a resource and support system for your child when they need it.

With this insight, you can make a more informed decision as to whether or not limiting screen time is the most effective way to improve your child's online experiences or if monitoring will benefit their habits long-term!

Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desiree Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com
Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desire Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com

Technology changed kids; Aqua One will change parenting

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