I remember the first time I saw a young child holding an iPad in public. This was several years ago and I was at a busy restaurant waiting for a table with my wife and infant daughter. A family across from us had handed the device to their young son to keep him entertained during the wait. I remember thinking, wow, that’s an unnecessarily expensive way to keep someone quiet for 20 minutes.These days it’s almost become rare to see a kid without a device in their hands.While iPads, tablets, and other devices can be a fun distraction for children, it’s important for us as parents to make sure that our kids are protected from the pornography and other dangers that can come from access to devices like these.
Monitor Internet Use
In a perfect world, we could hand a device to a kid and trust that they will use it safely and responsibly while also giving their parents a few quiet moments. The reality is that it’s just as easy for a kid to look up pornographic images as it is to look up 20 Amazing Facts About Spider-Man.While we want to trust our kids to make good choices, we need to understand not only how easy it can be to access inappropriate content, but also how ads and other links can trick kids into tapping away into dangerous areas.Protecting our kids
, either with Accountability software, filtering apps for families, or just requiring that browsing take place in areas of the home where others are present can go a long way.
Make things easier on yourself by using the “Restrictions” menu in the App store. Not only can you require a parent password before any new apps are downloaded, you can disable many of the pre-installed apps, such as Safari or YouTube, that can be used to access inappropriate content.
Communication and Parenting
Being the same room with your child as they play Minecraft, or more likely, watch videos of people in England playing Minecraft, is not always possible. We want to be able to trust our kids. Unfortunately, no matter how good your kids are, the internet is a tricky place
and we all are prone to making mistakes.Do a little research about devices for your family before you buy them. If parental controls and monitoring are not available, consider that it may not be the device for you. When it comes to devices or the apps that can be used on them, stick to your standards. Set limits and stay consistent. Take the time to talk with your child, learn about the app or device, and explain your reasons why it is or isn’t appropriate for their age.Communication can open doors to a better understanding of your child’s interests and gently guide them to a place where they can make good decisions about games and media later in life.
For older children and teens, giving them the opportunity to be accountable for the places they visit can be a powerful tool to teach self-control and responsibility. Ever Accountable provides some excellent options for families. Learn more about how accountability can help your family keep your family safe.Get started today