71% of second-year students in a Galway secondary school recently reported that their biggest challenge was that they felt addicted to their smartphones and this is impacting their ability to focus. Social media apps were purposely created to be persuasive and addictive, so this is not your child’s fault. We can all fall into this trap but as adults who grew up in a world before social media, we are usually able to identify and manage this better.

– Have a clear set of rules printed that they must follow when using their devices like: No phones or devices in the bedroom, or at the table during mealtimes
etc. Have consequences if they are not followed and stick to them!
– Limit screen time and what apps and content they can access by using parental controls on your child’s devices to limit screen time and set the times
they can use their apps. You can also do this on some internet service providers’  Wi-Fi routers.
– Monitor their usage and digital habits online. If you bought the device, you are ultimately responsible for what happens on that device. What social media
apps are stealing their time? Whom do they engage with, what content do they engage in?

Read the full feature in the Summer issue of Galway Now, on shelves now.