Sometimes post-millennials get called the “iGeneration”. It feels like an accurate term given the way so many kids spend much of their leisure time not outdoors playing with friends but instead glued to tablets and smartphones. They play video games, watch YouTube videos, keep up to date on different social media platforms and chat in a variety of messenger programs. This is exactly why parental control software came into existence.
Parental control software
Parental controls are special tools that help parents to take control of the way their children use devices. There are various different types of parental control apps on the market which come with different sets of functions, prices, and platform compatibility. You might consider such tools to be your extra pair of eyes, to help you keep tabs on your child’s online activity and keep your kid safe. While most mobile devices have built-in parental controls, they’re often very limited in scope. That’s why purchasing a more comprehensive piece of parental control software can be a great investment. Let’s look at the reasons you might find such apps helpful:
Top 10 reasons to use parental controls
1. Internet addiction. This can be a real problem for your child unless you help them to cope with it. Kids can spend hours surfing the web without considering the amount of time going by at all. They could spend this time more effectively doing their homework, playing sports or just socializing with friends. Parental controls can help resolve this issue. They enable you to apply a time limit for device usage or schedule exactly when your child can use their screens.
2. You can’t always be there. You can’t always be there to look over your kid’s shoulder to keep track of what they’re engaging with. What you can do is remotely enable or disable apps as you choose appropriate and set content filters on the sites they’re able to access.
3. Multiple device challenge. Modern families often have a messy collection of cell phones, iPads and laptops. That can make it hard to keep track of what’s happening on all the gadgets at the same time. Parental control programs can provide you with cross-platform control of large numbers of devices, allowing you to adjust the restrictions for each one to precisely fit your family’s needs.
4. To provide a safe internet experience. Conversations about safe browsing are important, but are they enough? Probably not. 70% of children aged 7-18 have accidentally run into online pornography, often just googling their homework. Make sure your child won’t bump into any sexual or violent content by applying a web filter. It gives the ability to block bad websites from appearing either by mistake or intentionally, so that you don’t need to worry about inappropriate content.
5. Cyber-bullying and online grooming. One downside to the fact that mobile devices are such powerful communication tools, is that they enable those who aim to misuse that ability to communicate. Cyber-bullying and online grooming are both serious threats to our children’s mental and physical wellbeing. Parental tools can be used to block chat sites or social media where bully’s or other predators might try to get in contact with our children.
6. Unhealthy gaming. Games are addictive. They’re intentionally designed this way and the resulting obsession can have serious implications. If engagement with the virtual world is getting in the way of other parts of your teens life, it’s probably time to step in with the parental controls. If you can see that your kids are that way inclined, you might want to use game time limits or scheduled play sessions much earlier.
7 Depressing content. Depression is the scourge of our times, affecting not only adults but young people as well. In recent years the number of teens who had at least one episode of major depression increased by 60%. And between selfie culture’s focus on image and social media’s carefully curated echo chamber, the Internet only turns up the heat. Teens are especially susceptible to this effect as their brains are still developing.
8. Help your kids to manage their time. How many times have you had quarrels with your child about screen time ending with tablet confiscation? With parental control software just set the screen time you want to allow and the app will shut down the device when the time is over. Or if you need a device to be turned off now, you can do it instantly from your own phone. Teaching kids to manage their time effectively is a valuable life skill.
9. Create time for getting the family together. Don’t let those precious moments of family time to be spoiled with cell phone interruptions. Either you want to discuss family matters at dinner or enjoy the weekend trip with your children, consider parental controls to limit their time spent in games and social media.
Managing, not spying
Remember that trusting relations between you and your child are well worth building and treasuring. Parental control software is not a tool for spying on your child but rather a management tool to set sensible boundaries that help them to navigate and use the digital world effectively and safely. This should be accompanied by conversations about screen time and online safety. Kids should be aware of the potential dangers and the reasons why parental controls are being installed on their device.