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4 Ways to Help your Teenage Kids Manage Screen Time

4 Ways to Help your Teenage Kids Manage Screen Time

Until about two decades ago, parents had little to worry about when it came to bringing up their kids. As long as younger kids stayed away from strangers, teenagers didn’t sneak off in the middle of the night to house parties or date the wrong people, everything was fine. However, as the rate of advances in technology began to skyrocket over the past decade, so did the complexity of dealing with kids, especially teenagers.

Teenagers and kids, in general, became increasingly addicted to technology. PCs, Macs, and gaming consoles became must-have pieces of technology at home, with kids spending hours on end on their devices. The entry of smartphones and tablets over the past few years has added on to the woes of many parents and families in the digital age. Increased screen time has been associated with various developmental challenges, including health, societal, and psychological deficiencies. Exposure to the internet from a young age has also increased cases of cyberbullying across the globe.

So, faced with a modern problem, how can parents help their kids to manage screen time in the face of social media and an active internet community? It is important to remember that not all screen time is bad, as long as teenagers mix time on their devices and other healthy behaviors away from these devices.

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As a parent, there are a couple of things you can do to help the situation. Check out this list of the most popular tips for helping your teenage kid manage their screen time.

1. Encourage Balance, not Restrictions

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    When most parents discover that their teenage kids are screen junkies, they tend to have an adverse knee-jerk response that often results in tight restrictions, wild emotions, and a combative mood around the house. While excess screen time may be unhealthy for kids of any age, some screen time may be necessary for teens. So instead of locking away every gadget around the house, it is best to moderate the amount of time that kids spend on their media devices.

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    Encourage them to participate in other activities away from their devices, especially if you suspect screen time is interfering with other facets of their lives. And because teens are more likely to open up than younger kids, start a discussion about their screen habits and encourage them to find balance.

    2. Get Involved

    Young man and his son using a laptop

      Kids and teens often get their screen usage habits from an older adult, usually a parent. Most parents always find it difficult to put the tablet, laptop, or smartphone down, a trait that is copied by kids and teens back at home. Setting a good example will not only help your kids cut down on media use, but will also help establish healthy media habits around the house.

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      You can also get directly involved in the type of media they consume. Watch their favorite movies or TV series with them or pick up a gamepad and indulge in a one-on-one drag race on their game consoles. This way, they will know you understand their issues when you tell them they need to cut down on screen time.

      Establish screen time rules together and give them a chance to come up with their own screen schedules. This will also help them become responsible teenagers and adults in future.

      3. Plan Tech-free Vacations

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      joyful-family-camping-in-the-park_1098-1846

        Believe or not, there are still vacation spots that are too remote for cellular and internet connectivity. Some spots even take away your devices when you check in, which can be a good way for the whole family to tune off. Most kids and teens won’t readily lay down their devices so make sure you set your foot down as a parent on this one.

        You can also pick out vacation spots that make it difficult to use phones and tablets. Activities such as biking, windsurfing, and most water sports make it virtually impossible to use their devices.

        4. Establish Media-free Zones in the House

        tech-free-zone

          The house is often the biggest crime scene when it comes to media overuse. Most teenage rooms are normally stocked with the latest in gadgetry – from the latest PlayStation console to HD TVs. Set clear rules to guide the time and place that media devices can be used. For instance, you can ban media usage in the bedroom, at the dinner table, or when the kids are doing homework.

          Conclusion

          Making the adjustments to media habits around the house will undoubtedly be an uphill task, especially if your teenage kids have carried on their bad media habits from early childhood. Still, it’s always better to be late than never. If poor screen habits aren’t rectified, they can spill over into adulthood where they can have much more drastic effects on a young adult’s life.

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          Vikas Agrawal

          Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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          Last Updated on July 8, 2020

          10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

          10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

          Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

          Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

          As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

          In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

          Projects and Tasks Management

          1. Monday dot com

            Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

            The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

            The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

            The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

            Check out the software here!

            2. Asana

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              The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

              The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

              Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

              Check out the software here!

              3. Trello

                Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                Check out the software here!

                4. Jira

                  The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                  The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                  The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                  Check out the software here!

                  5. Evernote Business

                    Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                    The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                    Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                    Check out the software here!

                    Communication

                    6. Slack

                      Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                      Check out the software here!

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                      7. Spike

                        Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                        Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                        Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                        Check out the software here!

                        Creation

                        8. Office 365

                          Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                          Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                          You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                          Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                          Check out the software here!

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                          9. Grammarly

                            Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                            Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                            Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                            Check out the software here!

                            Team Analytics

                            10. ActivTrak

                              ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                              The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                              Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                              Check out the software here!

                              The Bottom Line

                              Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                              More Productivity Tools

                              Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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