Giving Your Kid A Mobile Phone? How to Control His or Her Screen Time

Giving Your Kid A Mobile Phone? How to Control His or Her Screen Time

The Straits Times
Republished with Permission
20 June 2021

Mr Chong Ee Jay, deputy head at FamChamps, a community youth movement, said: "It is necessary to use parental control apps. When they are still young, you want to make sure to regulate their phone usage because they may not understand how to themselves."

But be careful not to "outsource" parenting to these apps, Mr Chong warned.

"Engaging the child in conversations is still needed. There needs to be a balance between a talking-down approach and having open conversation."

He recommends that parents have discussions with their children at least once a week about technology, on topics such as the challenges they face or fun things about tech.

He advises parents with older children to adjust the boundaries accordingly.

"They already hear a lot from the school on the dos and don'ts. A relational approach is what they need at home."

The reality is that children's screen time will increase as they stay home more often during the pandemic, he said, urging parents to think of how to help them make better use of their time on the devices.

"Engage with them and find out what they do. Children these days figure out a lot of things by themselves on the phone, like video-editing, digital scrapbooking and learning how to code. Be interested," he added.

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