First and foremost, teach them lessons about being safe online, whether to protect them against viruses or teach them how people try to manipulate them. Even kids in the most tightly curated internet monitored by the best parental control software need to learn how to spot and block abusive behavior from others. Sometimes this will involve awkward discussions, but better to be a little uncomfortable now than scared later, for both of you.
Talk To Them
Parental control apps like time limiters are incredibly useful, but they’re only half the picture. Kids often want to talk, especially if something has scared them online or made them uncomfortable, but they may not have an opening to do so. Or they may not realize what’s happening. Talking to your kids about where they’re going online and what they’re doing can be an invaluable way to keep tabs on what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.
Place Time Limits
Much like the best way to avoid crashing your car is to limit how often you drive it, limiting how much time kids spend on the internet is a good way to limit their risk. You should sit them down and work out a schedule and limits on where they can go on the internet. For example, an hour or two can be set aside for homework, with some strict limits on what sites they can go to, enforced with parental control software. Certain times, like bedtime, meals, and family time, should have the internet off-limits altogether. And leisure time shouldn’t be limited to the internet. One way to get a handle on-screen time is to make internet time a reward for completing chores or other tasks around the house.
Block Certain Apps
There are plenty of ways to excise certain apps from your life. Setting up separate profiles on your devices, downloading only kid-friendly versions of certain apps like YouTube, and password protecting certain features like in-app purchases, can work wonders not just for limiting screen time, but for protecting your kids in other ways. Also, make a point of adding apps on a case-by-case basis; if kids want a new game, make a rule they have to delete an old one, for example.
Finally, set standards and rules kids have to abide by, and if they don’t, have consequences in place. Consider that the most effective way to get kids to pay attention to rules is to control their “currency.” If breaking the rules means a favorite app gets deleted, or they lose screen time for a week, it’ll help keep the rules in place when all else fails.
Parental control software can help parents keep internet usage to healthy levels. To learn more, try it for free!