According to a study done by Internet Matters, two-thirds of children think parental controls are a ‘good idea’ and help protect them from adult content.
Twenty first century parenting can be challenging in itself, adding the complexities of information technology and mobile devices can making it even more so.
Here are are a couple of suggestions that you can implement into your house hold to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of your child or children.
Parental controls may be set at the network level – for example to manage all devices connected to your home WiFi, mobile devices, PCs, smart TVs or gaming consoles.
Content such as pornography and violence can all be put through a filter and blocked. On a mobile device SafeSearch can been enabled through the Google app. Both on a PC and mobile device regular checking should take place to ensure the SafeSearch function hasn’t been turned off.
Time limits for online activity can also be implemented. This can either be done the old school way by removing the power cable, disconnecting the internet, hiding the remote, locking away the device or enabling the Screen Time function on their phone or tablet.
Selectively block or allow individual games and applications on tablets, computers and mobile devices.
In the evening keeping all electronic devices in the common areas. Avoiding taking devices into the bedroom and being device free a couple of hours before going to bed. According to the Sleep Foundation the use of electronic devices before bed can have a detrimental effects to a persons body clock, making it more difficult to fall asleep, which is essential to young growing bodies. Reading a gripping novel, colouring in, working on a puzzle could be a fantastic alternative.
Keep meal times as family time, providing an environment for discussion. If no electronic devices are brought to the table by anyone the chance of conversation is more likely.
The importance of role modelling behaviour can’t be stressed enough. Mobile devices and computers usage can equally be difficult to balance for a child as it is for an Adult. However if you impose the same house rules to your child/children regarding technology to yourself you may find less resistance particularly with the older ones.
One of the biggest distraction students face in class is the notifications and the buzzing of their device in their pocket when they get a message. Social media companies such as Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat have their side of technology wired so enticing you just want to check your notifications. The best way to balance this is to put the phone on silent, turn off the vibration function and turn off the notifications.
Mobile device, tablets, PCs and gaming consoles are fantastic pieces of technology, however they will only stay fantastic if the correct control measures are put in place.
Alex Hausen (Acting Head of Treacy House)