Protecting Our Kids

I am a father of kids ranging from 15 down to 5 and managing technology and their use of technology is exhausting for me. I am wondering what you all have found to be effective and ensuring your kids' tech experiences are safe, values based and age appropriate? Also wondering if what you use alerts you if the content they are seeking or have seen is outside of our values/ age appropriate? 

  • Think there are options to age restrict what they're watching. Keep tabs on everything they're being exposed to, it doesn't take long to check out every program. Limit their tech time and make sure they go outside for exercise.

  • I agree we gotta be really careful to what our kids are exposed to, particularly in the internet. There are parental control settings in many devices, and you can block certain webpages. Keep close control and also limit their exposure time with technology. Talking to them is also important so they feel confident telling you if they found something inappropriate/perturbant (especially with the older ones). 

  • Frankly it's a futile effort to "control" as a means to inculcate and it can backfire. There's always the need to guide naivete online, but being too intrusive is harmful on its own, particularly as they get older and can encourage unguided curiosity and rebellion. The most effective thing to do is to teach openly and trust, with clear boundaries. On the other hand, encouraging young people to learn about VPNs through "necessity" has value, I guess... Otherwise, just say say they have to use filters, talk about when they can or can't do transactions, how to protect privacy etc. Being willing to use filters and exercise sense on their own is always better.

  • Cut off the entertainment and more fulfilling things will enter their world! Spend more time outdoors. Maybe after a productive day entertainment then, yet dinner, cleaning up, and getting ready for bed should take priority! 

  • Controlling wifi time, promoting other activities/hobbies that are hands on, and educating them by guiding the ways you want them. 

    Completely restricting is exhausting, a gentle nudge in the right direction+reinforcement is best

  • I believe that educating and talking to them about what is safe and what isn't is the best way. Talk, talk, talk. I answer all questions about everything that my children ask and make sure that they feel save speaking with me about anything. They have asked me some very sensitive questions and I answer them open and honestly. There is no restriction and keeping an eye on everything. There is always ways around it. I see it with some friends children that are friend with mine. My daughter has told me some of the ways that the other children are getting around their parents helicopter policies.

  • First and foremost you have to talk to them and educate them well. Other than that, I do believe you should limit their online time in order for them to do other activities and develop other skills. And I also suggest tracking what they are doing online. I would not necessarily block, but I would track and talk to them in case they are doing inappropriate stuff. It should also teach them that they are always being tracked when online. 

  • Eduardo, that is true. Education is such an important part of raising them in this digital world. I hear you suggesting I just need to commit to the work of checking their devices. Yuck... and probably true. Thank you for your comment. 

  • I remember being 15 though and video games/chat rooms were so much a part of the zeitgeist that it would have been impossible for my parents to say, "just go outside." That said, they did limit my time (naturally because otherwise the phone line would always be busy via broadband haha), and I went outside and read books voraciously. 

  • Continue to monitor your children on their devices and use this site to help you!