If you’re an Apple user, chances are you have already downloaded and played around with the biggest new update, IOS 12. IOS 12 has many new (and updated) features that Apple users can enjoy and use on their devices. But perhaps the most significant update, especially for parents, is the new Screen Time feature!
Screen Time was built with parents in mind. This feature allows parents to have more control and awareness of what/how their kid is doing on their phone. For example, with Screen Time, you can set up different time and app restrictions, as well as approve or disapprove purchases your kid wants to make on their phone. So what do you do? How do you set up this new feature for your family?
How Does It Work?
For this to work best, you’ll need to activate Family Sharing, which means your child will need their own iCloud account if they don’t have one yet. You can add up to 6 members under Family Sharing. Just go into Settings (on each desired device), scroll down to “Screen Time” and click on the “Set Up Screen Time for Family” option and it will walk you step-by-step on how to set this up on each device.
After you turn on Screen Time on your family’s devices, you’ll be encouraged to set up a few things to better monitor and manage your kid’s time on their phone:
- Downtime: setting up particular times for your kid to have no app usage throughout the week (for example: maybe not during mealtime or bedtime)
- App Limits: setting time restrictions on social media apps and games on your kid’s device (For example, only 30 mins to play their favorite game)
- Always Allowed: setting up their device to allow some apps to never be time restricted (such as their phone, texts, email, etc.)
- Content and Privacy Restrictions: enables you to set up your kid’s device to be more kid appropriate (movies, music, apps, websites, etc.)
- Daily and Weekly Summary: although you don’t “set up” anything here, this feature lets you see how much time your child spent on their device in specific ways (app usage, how many times they picked up their phone, and when they received notifications).
What are the Downsides?
- Downtime: can only set the same time each day of the week for no app usage (such as 8 pm for each day) and it has no weekend options.
- If your kid always wants extended time on their device, they can request as much as they want, which means you’ll be flooded with notifications on your phone.
- Default settings are not kid-friendly, so you’ll have to go in and change the privacy and content restrictions
There you have it, perhaps the most important update in IOS 12 is Screen Time. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you haven’t set this feature up on your family’s devices, why not start today!