Parents are using a clever trick to get their children off their mobile phones

child with smartphone
(Image credit: REX/Shutterstock)

A simple change of settings can make your child less interested in your mobile.

You want them to find out how much fun the real world is, but the instant gratification of bright, shiny screens can be hard to compete with.

And even if you haven’t given in and bought your kids mobile phones of their own yet, you’ve probably caught them reaching for yours.

Read more: Experts reveal why you shouldn’t use your mobile phone after 10pm

But according to listeners of the Mamamia Out Loud podcast, there is a simple solution. Switching on Grayscale mode turns your phone black and white, making the screen less stimulating and more calming.

You can activate Grayscale model on your iPhone by hitting Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations, turning on colour filters and selecting Grayscale.

If you have an Android phone, you can do it with Google’s Digital Wellness Application. You can then use the app to alter the amount of colour you want to display on the screen.

child with tea and smartphone

Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Go Gray say it’s a quick and easy way to make your phone less appealing and cut down on their screen time. In fact, they compare it to ‘turning your favourite dessert into your least favourite vegetable’.

Listeners have been quick to respond with their success stories. ‘Yesterday at swimming lessons my youngest asked to look at my phone, saw the colour and said “it’s broken” and gave it back! So that’s a win,’ one parent commented.

‘My kids’ interest in my devices has dropped dramatically!’ another agreed.

And if you feel like you might be a teeny tiny bit addicted to your phone yourself, the clever hack could work for you too. After all, a third of us check our smartphones within five minutes of waking up in the morning, and we all know it’s important to practise what we preach!

‘I’m trying the grayscale trick to reduce my phone time,’ one man tweeted. ‘3 days in & the real world looks a lot more colourful.’

‘I’ve been doing this a month now and my phone usage has dropped dramatically,’ a Reddit user agreed. ‘It’s back to being a tool and not a reward system.’

Have you given this trick a go? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know if it worked for you. 

Freelance Writer

Samantha is a freelance writer at Goodto who has been with team since 2019. Initially trained in psychology, she specialises in health and wellbeing and has additionally written for magazines such as Women’s Health, Health & Wellbeing, Top Santé, Healthy, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, CelebsNow, Good Housekeeping and Woman&Home.