Setting family technology rules

Setting family technology rules

Do you believe online safety should be a family effort? Three parents explain how they control their households’ technology and what their biggest challenges are

These parents share their tips on setting family technology rules:

 

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Juliet

Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Mum to Louis, 14, and Flo, 12

We own…

“Three iPads, four iPhones and two PCs. Flo has a laptop. Louis has a PC that he built himself. We also have games consoles.”

Our rules are…

“Weeknights the kids are allowed an hour of TV once they’ve done their homework, but no gaming. There’s unlimited gaming on Friday nights. Louis runs home from school and plays from four o’clock until 10:30.

“We use parental controls. Qustodio Parental Control Software is free and covers all our devices – we can’t access rude things or buy samurai swords! We also have the OurPact app which is also free, and less restrictive. You can use it to schedule the kids’ use of devices. If they misbehave, I can block access to all their tech!”

Our worries…

“Nobody remembers anything any more. They just look things up. Ninety-five per cent of the kids’ homework is on the computer, so it’s difficult to monitor use – and it’s hard for them as the temptation is always there.”

 The best thing about the internet…

“Access to everything – but it’s a double-edged sword.”


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James

London
Dad to Heath, five, and Finley, three

 We own…

“A laptop, an iPad, iPhone 4 and an LG G2 phone.”

Our rules are…

“Screen time is limited to the weekend. The boys appreciate it more when they’ve been denied it all week. Our rules can be undone though, if the boys go to friends’ houses where their children are allowed access to technology most of the time.”

Our worries…

“In-app purchases are a problem. The first I’ll know about them is when I get a text telling me how much I’ve spent. The ease with which the boys can make these purchases alarms me.”

The best thing about the internet…

“The access to information, entertainment and education. You can show your children something very quickly. For example, if you wanted to see how a blacksmith shoes a horse you can find a video on YouTube.”


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Chris

Nottingham
Dad to Izzy, 11, and Ruby, four

We own…

“A Mac, two laptops, an iPad, a Hudl tablet, two iPhones and an iPod Touch.”

Our rules are…

“We don’t use parental controls and that seems to work at the moment. Our rules are a bit vague. One day we’ll say, ‘You’ve been on there too long, get off now and get outdoors.’ Then the next day it’s raining and we’ll let them stay on longer because it’s convenient. We don’t allow them to take their tablets to bed though.”

Our worries…

“My biggest fear is that they’ll stumble across sexual imagery and, being young girls, they might think that’s how women should be and how they should act. I want them to be two strong girls. I don’t want them thinking that way.”

The best thing about the internet…

“The internet is a great resource for quick information – whether that helps the kids with homework, helps me answer their questions, or allows us to find out what’s happening locally.”

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