Why Parenting Technology is So Hard

The main problem when ‘parenting technology’ is there’s just too much to think about. There’s the overwhelm of parental control options from Wifi, router, and cellular to web-filtering, content provider controls and those built-in to the devices themselves. With so many points of access, you not only have to consider what’s happening inside your home but also what happens when kids are on-the-go.

Unfortunately, there is no one, easy or comprehensive solution, however parents can cover the landscape by focusing on these main areas:

    1. Device Level Controls: for gaming consoles, computers, mobile devices, Smart TVs and even eReaders. These often take the form of:
      1. Web-browsing restrictions
      2. Time limits
      3. Content restrictions
    2. Content Provider Parental Controls: From Netflix to YouTube, all the major content providers have their own parental controls which can involve separate user profiles and pincodes.
    3. Advanced Filtering and Monitoring: beyond Safari’s capabilities, you can install advanced web filters for safesearch and monitoring.  
    4. Wifi Solutions: enable you to have more control over the Wifi signal, with the best options offering control for specific devices inside and outside the home
    5. Cellular Controls: These are only worthwhile if you want tight control over who your child can communicate with. While they can block mobile devices, Wifi is easily accessed anywhere.

Ultimately, we all aspire to teach our kids healthy digital habits and how to self-regulate. In the meantime, setting up parental controls can help to establish some boundaries which are ever-important when the content flows endlessly and games are designed to be addictive. While a creative and determined child can circumvent any parental controls, at least you’ve set the baseline that technology has limits, and our Family Agreement can help you to set expectations as well as consequences.  

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