A group of influencers along with Twin Cities Moms Collective recently had the opportunity to chat with one another alongside Comcast about managing screen time in the new world that we are living in.
It led me to wonder, how have you mamas been controlling screen time? Or have you been, like me, not controlling it at all?! Over the summer while our boys were home full time I was still a working full-time mama and honestly, I was just in survival mode. From the moment they woke up until they went to bed the rules went out the window.
Allowing only YouTube Kids for Beckam, and “trying” to manage what Greyson was watching by distractedly overhearing whatever show he picked and then panic-running to the phone he was using to turn it off, was about the only regulations we had in place.
However, when our boys have too much screen time it shows. And in addition to this, it was not only affecting their behavior, it also was affecting our marriage and the arguments we’d have.
As a family, we finally got to a point where we decided we needed to adjust in an effort to figure out a new balance. The boys had to “earn” their screen time by picking up their rooms, putting away their clean clothes, playing outside more… just to name a few. Basically, by practicing good behaviors they would earn a set number of minutes of screen time.
But just as we have hit our rhythm with this, our family life is changing. Now that school is starting up, our baby girl is on the way and our workload is not slowing down… we know we’re in for a whole new set of adjustments, rules and boundaries once again.
So tell me, how about you, mama? Do you monitor what your kids watch? Set a certain time parameter on how much they watch? Or are you in survival mode and unable to monitor at all? With all of this in mind, what is it you WISH technology had to help you in all of these things?
Within our discussion with Comcast, I heard so many things from other moms I could relate to as well:
“I wish…devices had an alert to countdown 5,4,3,2,1… and disconnect.”
“I wish… I could control the time limit.”
“I wish… I could see what my kids are watching from the other room or while I am away from home.”
It was pretty cool to hear what other moms are going through right now, and how so many of us are struggling, adapting, growing, and learning together during this current climate. In addition to this, it was cool how Comcast was listening to the needs, demands, and wish lists of us moms; and then putting actions into place to help provide us with new technology that can take one more thing off of our plate.
They introduced us to a new app called, xfinity xFi.
Comcast shared with us that, “As Americans have shifted toward working and educating from home, we’ve seen new internet patterns emerge, including a 57% uptick in daily xFi usage and a 27% increase in parental control activities.”
With the xFi app you are now able to know exactly who in your household is using the internet, and for how long. You can set the amount of time each person can utilize a device, and even pause internet usage all from YOUR phone.
Want to pause for family time? There’s a feature built into the app that allows you to pause the WiFi on your child’s device. In fact, Comcast has seen a 75% increase in the number of times parents hit the pause on their WiFi over the last several months.
Want to allow your kids to only be online for schoolwork for 4 hours and playtime for 2 hours? You can set the time parameters and once those hours are up, the WiFi is turned off on their device.
Want to know if your kids are sneaking their devices into their rooms at 3 o’clock in the morning? The app tells you that.
Overall, we as a community of moms couldn’t be more thankful to be working with Comcast and having them as a trusted partner to keep us all connected to what matters most: our kids.
The best thing I heard within this discussion (and something I so needed to hear) was that no matter what… we, as moms, are navigating a new territory of parenting that no one has ever navigated before. Never. Ever. Ever. No one.
During this new age of COVID-19, we are parenting in uncharted waters. We are teaching, working, living, adapting and doing the absolute best we can. No one has been through what we’re all going through right now.
So despite what your family rules look like right now, just know you are doing an incredible job!