Attention please!

With increasing discussion about an addiction to mobile phones making us all constantly distracted, and an often shared desire from parents to get their children to look up from their phones from time to time, Educate considers what help is available. We’ve put together a few useful tips to help teens take a detox from the never-ending digital distraction of technology, and steer some time away from their screens.

If your child or teen has an iPhone they can switch off the ‘Raise to Wake’ setting which will mean that every time they pick up their phone and the lock screen appears, the distraction of notifications will be removed, and only the time will be displayed.

Go grey by switching their phone to grayscale in settings to reduce the addictive allure of a screen full of colour.

Consider an app like Flipd, which works like a lock screen on a timer that encourages them to remain unplugged from their phone for a period of time that they can choose. Whether they use the app to study, pay attention in class, or even sleep, Flipd can help them disconnect and measures the mindful progress each time they use it.

Be a role model and make sure you stay unplugged yourself at key points through the day.

Ban phone charging from the bedroom. This will keep the mobile phone out of the bedroom and the pull of social media while in bed. Research suggests this very much disturbs sleep, not to mention the blue light mobile phones emit.

Get them to use screen time controls such as quiet time and limit the time spent on specific apps.

Encourage teens to download a screen time app such as Space, Moment or Mute to measure and better manage how much time they spend on their phones.

Buy them an old fashioned alarm clock instead of relying on their mobile phone for the time or a wake-up nudge. This keeps the mobile phone out of the bedroom and should lead to a better night’s sleep.

Eat your meals as a family without any screens. Mealtimes are an invaluable opportunity for important social interactions and mobile phones should be off the table.

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