It is common for most parents of children with cell phones to see them stare into their devices aimlessly for what can seem like hours on end. While many parents want to limit their childrenâ€™s screen time, they are not fully aware of the differences between the tools or components in order to accomplish setting those limits. This article examines methods of controls and how to implement them on personal devices.
The first method of control for parents to consider is to control the amount of WIFI time their child has access to at home. The best way to accomplish this is through time controls on the WIFI modem. Unfortunately, many modems either lack these controls, have them but are difficult to use, or provide only a global setting for access by all devices. Under most normal situations, there are multiple devices that connect to the same modem which make global restrictions impossible. On our premium channel, I have posted a video on how to configure these controls on an Asus WIFI Modem. It is simple task, and it puts individual time limits on different devices. Before purchasing a new modem, please check with your current internet provider to see if your current modem might already have these controls. If a new modem must be purchased, take the time to make sure it can be easily configured as some take the expertise of a computer guru to figure out.
The next method of control is very closely related to WIFI limits. Please realize if you limit WIFI time, you should also limit cell phone time as well. If WIFI is shut down, and they can only use their data plan on their phone. This could result in data overages unless you have an unlimited plan. Most major carriers have an added service where you can limit the amount of data for a cell phone as well as limit the times the phone can be used. It is important to remember to check the phone still has the ability to call in the case of an emergency. With Verizonâ€™s Family Base program, you can select certain phone numbers your child can call at any time. Please make sure you are very proficient with the use of the controls before activating. One of the major drawbacks about limiting time and/or data is that in the case of an emergency, some of the GPS location services might be disabled if data is cut off from the phone. If this happens, you will need to be able to quickly log into the restriction panel to disable them if you need to locate the device.
The last method of control is the use of third party apps or monitoring services. These commonly offer a wide variety of controls such as limiting time and content viewed. In addition, several of these apps and services have features where you can monitor your childâ€™s posts, text messages, online activity, and more. Unfortunately, there are many different features each of them have and depend greatly on whether it is an iPhone or Android. I have created a video comparing several of these on our premium channel. Keep in mind some of apps or services require you to jailbreakÂ (iPhones) or rootÂ (Androids) the phone which essentially removes the default system software and security protections.
Due to the overlapping features on each of these methods of control, it is difficult to draw a clear line on which function is controlled by each. The main goal of these methods is to limit time and content so whatever combination you use should work. Please make sure you thoroughly check the default security options on your childâ€™s device as it will often provide a good amount of security precautions. Please see our free video section and watch the video User Controls for more information.