MIAMI, April 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In the digital era, teen smartphone addiction has become a challenging problem for parents. Requiring a balanced approach, STAPP, the new parental control app, invites parents to connect and learn more at the Tech-Smart Parenting Center, an online resource with tools and tips for today's connected world.
Modern Parenting Challenges Parenting has never been an easy task but living in a digital era presents ever-evolving challenges for which many parents find themselves unprepared. Parents give their children phones so they can stay connected and be entertained. But, without realizing it, teens are paying more attention to a smartphone screen than to anything else.
Teens' digital life is negatively affecting their real-life interactions, family relationships and their eating, sleeping and studying schedules. Smartphones command their constant attention to a degree that many researchers are now studying the effects of "smartphone addiction".
Many parents are feeling that they are losing control of their teenagers. They want to address the situation, but they feel they have limited time to research a solution; they lack access to resources and the online generation gap makes it harder to keep up with their teens' technology.
The Research The average American teenager who uses a smartphone receives her/his first phone at age 10 and spends over 4.5 hours a day on it (excluding texting and talking) i 78% of teens check their phones at least hourly and 50% report feeling "addicted" to their phones. ii
Smartphone addiction is now linked to damaging teens' ability to be attentive, and to increasing anxiety, depression, insomnia and impulsivity. [iii][iv]
Parents of teenagers are less confident than parents of younger children in their ability to monitor their children's technology usage (41% vs. 68%). They are also less likely to consider themselves to be more technology savvy than their teens (27% vs. 61%). v
The Reality Parents know it's not realistic to think they can eliminate smartphones or digital interactions - nor should they want to. So much about smart phones is positive. Parents can know where their children are at any given moment and can contact them in an instant. Teens have the knowledge of the world at their fingertips and they can access many apps catering to their needs and wants. Part of the solution is to set boundaries and limit the amount of time kids spend on the phone. It is not about denying access to smartphones. It's about finding a healthy balance.
A Balanced and Realistic Approach vI, vii Parents can follow a balanced approach to help prevent/stop their teen's smartphone addiction:
Model a Balanced Behavior: Many adults are also addicted to their smartphones. They can't stop checking email, messages, and social profiles at home. If they are asking their teens to put their smartphone down at a specific time, they should model the behavior.
Set Clear but Realistic Rules: Parents should let their teens know that there are specific areas of the house, like the dining area, that should be tech-free zones. Also, schedule smartphone-free family time, such as dinner time.
Strengthen Parenting Relationship: Parents should make an effort to plan fun tech-free family activities, such as gatherings and vacations, to connect and strengthen the bond and show their teens that life can also be experienced without a screen.
Understand How Teens are Using their Phones: Even though there is an online generation gap, parents should make an effort to be familiarized with their teens' usage of technology for school and social purposes.
Research Parental Control Options: Parents don't need to be alone in their parental control efforts. There are many parental control options, like STAPP, the new parental control app, to help them control their teens' screen time.
Tech Smart Parenting Center Parents who want to learn more about "Tech Parenting" can visit the new Tech-Smart Parenting Center powered by STAPP. They will find the latest news, tools, resources, webinars, workshops, podcasts and upcoming forums to connect with other parents and share their experiences and challenges controlling their teens' technology usage.
About STAPP STAPP is the new parental control app. It's fastto install, easy to learn and safe to use. Parents just have to tap the STAPP button and the social and gaming apps on their teen's screens will be temporarily invisible. Tap to un-Stapp, and all the apps reappear in the order they were before. Find out more at stappnow.com or download the app from the App Store (available as STAPP Parental Control) and get a 14-day free trial.