Published by: Digital Schools
Screen Time: Supervision is Key
I often describe parenting with digital devices as a little bit (or a lot) ‘dementing’. What I mean by this is that it’s hard work and relentless. While none of us, I included, profess to parent perfectly, I understand that supervision is key without a shadow of a doubt. Like in the offline world, we understand that children cannot be left alone because of the risks we know exist. They need age-appropriate supervision.
Supervision refers to having children using internet-enabled devices in communal areas of your home. Simply put, the risks far outweigh any possible benefits of primary school-aged children being allowed to use devices in their bedroom (or behind closed doors). Although not likely to be a popular decision, we urge every family to set an expectation that devices are only used in communal areas of the home.
The reason that supervision of internet-enabled devices is so important is that it will minimise (notice how I didn’t say eliminate) risks of:
- Grooming by predators
- Exposure to inappropriate content
To further support you and your family in keeping children safe online, we highly recommend using parental controls. Parental controls are settings that can be used to help supervise and manage device use. One of the best examples of effective parental controls is Apple’s Screen Time setting. Please have a look at the eSafety Commissioner’s guide for more info: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/skills-advice/taming-technology
Above all else, we encourage parents to start and continue conversations about their children’s experiences online. Communication will work side-by-side with supervision and boundaries to mentor our kids to navigate the online world more safely.