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If you are anything like me, you struggle with trying to work on cutting back screen time for the kids. It is so easy to fall in to a routine of utilizing Apps, video games, and phones to entertain children so we can grab a moment to ourselves. I get it. I do!
T-Mobile is ready to salvage our parenting sanity! In June, they unveiled the T-Mobile FamilyMode app and Home Base, which easily give parents (even tech challenged ones like myself) a way to create safe digital habits for our children.
Did you know that the average US family has five or more digitally connected devices? Most kids are receiving their first cell phone by the age of 10! When I was 10, I was playing with barbies…I did not get my first phone until I was 17! Times are changing!
The T-Mobile FamilyMode is the perfect digital solution to give parents the best control over all their child’s online activities, including screen time limits. It’s easy to set up via Wi-Fi and not limited to just the devices on the cellular network.
My husband has become oblivious to how much time he spends on the PS4 after work and on the weekends. The data usage is a great way for me to showcase the facts. He may not like that I am using it to track him but he loves that we can use it to track our son’s usage and make new boundaries and limits.
While my son is not old enough to have a phone other than playing games in the car or in the home, if we misplace a device, the FamilyMode app allows us to locate this, which as he get older, turns into an easy way to keep track of him when he does have a phone as well.
While we always try to keep an eye on our children, the internet is a scary place. Having the ability to limit games, websites, and set filters lets us really take back control on the parenting front when it comes to technology. While we should not be letting the internet raise our children, the world we live in revolves around technology. We should have the right and ability to control what is seen in our home.
Three ways I am quickly cutting back screen time-
*Sitting down weekly and asking my son how he wants his screen time doled out. He has unlimited time during “school hours” to use educational Apps. However, when it comes to games on a phone, the video game console in his room, and using his Dad’s phone to watch videos…enough is enough. I love that T-Mobile FamilyMode lets me set time limits and I can control the restrictions to particular devices as well.
*My son is not to use videos when a friend is over. They may play educational games and take turns, 10 minutes each back and forth until one whines.
*Usage tracking. With the FamilyMode I can compare time online today but also last week and in prior months. While very new, this is something I look forward to looking at to compare Summer vs the school year. Giving rewards is also an option. Providing ways to limit the time based on time presets as well as a BedTime mode to pause devices at specific times, the App is doing the work for me!
You are not limited on how you can change the way your family uses and sees the technology in the home. You can monitor, filter, and even set limits on phones, tablets, gaming consoles, laptops, smart TVs, and any other Wi-Fi connected device in your home. Wait..I can set a filter and turn off my husband’s PS4?!?! Winning!! At least if we set a time on it, he couldn’t deny how much he plays.
The best part? It’s only $20 (for a limited time) of out of pocket for the device that plugs right in to your router and can stay hidden. Just $10 a month for the T-Mobile FamilyMode app! You can use this service if you are a T-Mobile postpaid customer or on the T-Mobile ONE or Simple choice plan.
My son is almost five and he can work a phone better than myself. He can find his shows on the smart TV via the Apps, and he can certainly find his way to videos online. I’m kind of sick of it. I confess to using it as a tool so I can drive in peace, cook or clean without him shadowing me, and to fall asleep. I had to find a way to implement a routine NOW before he started school.
Not only am I absolutely in love with my first week using the FamilyMode App, but being back with T-Mobile who I used for over a decade when I got my first cell phone (not at the age of 10 or younger by the way!) is great! The benefits of the T-Mobile ONE Accounts (with two or more lines) has so many Un-carrier benefits at absolutely no extra cost to you!
- Monitor talk and text usage
- Through an exclusive partnership get a standard 2-screen Netflix subscription at no extra cost
- Unlimited text and data roaming and a low flat-rate calling in over 140 countries.
- Like to cruise and travel to Canada? Mobile without Borders lets you use your device in Mexico and Canada with unlimited talk, text, and data up to 5GB of 4G LTE.
- Fly a lot? Inflight you get unlimited texting all flight long and 1 free hour of smartphone Wi-Fi on domestic flights.
- Use up to five numbers one one device or use one number on multiple devices.
- Connect all your devices to the internet with the MobileHotspot with included tethering data.
- You are in an Un-contract! You have the power to change the price you pay
- Ready to change? Get Carrier freedom. T-Mobile helps cover the switching cost AND thanks you weekly with free stuff just for being a customer via T-Mobile Tuesdays.
Ready to change the way your family utilizes screen time? Make more family time. Put the phones down at dinner. Shut the TVs off before bed. Get the kids on a schedule. The benefits are amazing and the younger we implement changes with our kids, the less they will rely on these devices as they grow up.
I get that we were told non stop in school we needed math because we would not have a calculator everywhere. Thank you phones for proving that one wrong. Teaching our children that face time in real life is more important to their relationships and growth than their face in the tech, is going to create some great memories and growing moments.
I love technology. It helps me teach my son when not in school. It helps me get my work done. It has helped me grow my business. I could not do my job without my phone. My son could not use his educational apps without his tablet. The reward feature is an excellent way to reward stellar behavior and doing well with his learning lessons. If he finishes his daily writing, letters, or lesson for the day I can add time to his daily allowance.
Since I do watch my friend’s son, I plan on creating an account for him as well. I’m really interested to even track myself on particular devices. I sometimes wonder where the day has gone and how much I got done does not reflect how many hours I was working on my phone or computer. I feel the T-Mobile FamilyMode is going to really let us see how our usage has been and how we can improve things to get more family face time.
I know it may be hard at first to pull the plug and start the control, but I promise, it feels great! Seeing my son’s face rather than the top of his head face down has been a breath of fresh air.
What features of the T-Mobile FamilyMode are you excited about?
This post is sponsored by T-Mobile