Aron sees it day in and day out, parents are not using the tools at their disposal to prevent these situations. Often no parental controls are used on kids devices and he finds that parents are worried about talking to their kids about the dangers of devices and the internet, the kids have total access and that’s what ends up getting them into trouble.
Having the hard talk
At cyber safety talks that Aron’s hosts he advises parents to have that “hard talk” with their kids, reassuring the parents that they don’t have to be super graphic but they need to explain to kids why parental controls are necessary. Even if the kids might not always agree with the parent, they will be more likely to accept the introduction of a rules and keep themselves out of danger if they understand how to be safe and why it’s important.
79% of young people learn about online safety from their parents.
With all his experience and knowledge of the challenge that kids face growing in an internet-accessible world, Aron decided to get ahead of the problem and look into parental controls for his two boys. He told us that they are good boys, he trusts them, and he’s not too worried what they’re doing on their devices but he is concerned what can come looking for and find them.
“Don’t have this talk just once, constantly reinforce why you have these rules and that it’s about their safety.”
The house rules
Before the introduction of a parental control app there were already device rules in the house. Everyone had agreed to these rules and knew exactly what they were, however Aron and his wife had a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t always followed, especially when they weren’t around to monitor the boys. When they got back from work each day they had the feeling that the boys had been on their devices for hours.
He had a clear idea of what he wanted and set out looking for an app that would could block apps, monitor web browsing history and allow his kids to earn more time through chores. After reading through several descriptions of parental control apps he found that Screen Time was the only parental control app that had everything he was looking for.
Aron was confident that his boys were sensible and could look after themselves; he uses Screen Time to prevent problems rather than to fix any that were already there. Despite that aim the benefits were plain to see, his boys were doing their chores to earn more time on their devices and were spending considerably less time with their heads bent over their devices. They even started picking up the ball and heading outside to play.
Fast forward 18 months
Screen Time has been on the boys devices for about a year and half now, even though there was some grumbling to begin with they accepted Screen Time quickly and without any arguments. Since then Aron has kept the Screen Time settings largely the same apart from one instance where one of the boys came back with a bad report card, after that the Daily Limit was set to 0 mins and was only increased after there was some improvement at school.
Dinner time has improved as well, before Screen Time there was a lag between when the boys were called for dinner and when they turned up.
“If you went looking for them then 9 times out of 10 you’d find them on their devices”
Using Screen Time’s Pause feature the boys are sat at the table ready for their dinner on time with no arguments, no feet shuffling and no complaints.