Parent Pro Tip: 4 Ways to Monitor Your Kids’ Media Time
While technology has opened up a whole new world to explore, it understandably makes a parent’s job harder when it comes to their child’s safety. Thankfully, advances in technology have also provided ways for you to monitor your kids’ media time with ease. Here are four ways you can monitor your child’s media time in a way that is fair for everyone.
Simple and inexpensive, keeping your family’s media sources in open spaces is a very effective way to keep an eye on what your kid’s are taking in. There’s no need for envision of space or snooping maneuvers if you can clearly see what your child is viewing just by walking by. Older kids will be less likely to go on questionable sites if they know parents are present, and being readily available to give quick tips and advice on using media will be beneficial.
Most media sources today require an account and sharing one as a family helps you know what your kids are watching. Having shared accounts on messaging services like iCloud for iMessage and Whatsapp will allow you to check the messages your kids are sending and receiving. Using a family iTunes, Netflix or Amazon account lets you have a say in the content and purchases allowed on their devices.
Perhaps one of the simplest and cheapest ways to monitor your kids’ media exposure is using parental controls. Most computers have the option for you to limit the times your kids can use the computer and which programs they can use. Even smartphones have a form of parental controls, allowing for restriction of selected apps or content of certain ratings. For cable, companies like Reserve Telecommunications offer the option to lock out specific channels, ratings or titles. You can even prevent adult titles from being shown onscreen.
To avoid frequently hovering over your child’s shoulder, consider investing in monitoring software. There are several software options available that give you updates on the sites your child frequents, social media information available to the public, how much time your kids are spending online, let you block certain websites and even prevent cyberbullying.
These are just some of the simple ways you can monitor what your kids are viewing. It’s important to communicate with your children the reasons for being careful online. With proper communication kids won’t see media monitoring as an invasion of privacy or punishment, but as yet another way parents love and protect them.
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