As a family we’ve decided to to cut back on our screen time to make space for relationship and more fun as a family. We recently heard at a conference that the average American watches 4 hours of television a day. Since the addition of mobile devices the average person has added an additional 4 hours of screen time without diminishing their TV time. I find this statistic alarming and I want to take action in my own life and in our family to prevent us from getting to that point. We’ve already cut down on our TV time and are only watching on the weekends and limiting ourselves to one show. It’s made a huge difference for us. We find ourselves playing more games, reading books, and hanging out/playing together. An area we’ve still struggled in is to keep track of our time on mobile devices. I feel like I get caught in a time vortex and before I know it 30 minutes have passed and I have no idea where they went. I’m a firm believer in modelling in leading whether in a business, school, or family. If I want to see us as a family grow in this area, I have to lead in changing myself first. So I’m working on changing myself and we are regularly talking about it as a family.
I recently have learned about a great tool to help in time management for screen time for the whole family. The Intego Family Protector simplifies mobile protection and setting screen time limits across all of the family’s iOS-connected devices, making it easy for parents to monitor their child, (and themselves) while still giving them independence. Parents can set screen time limits, monitor activity, restrict access to content, prevent purchases, and easily adjust them to meet the changing needs of every child. I think this is really great tool because there is a lot of customization options you have to create a very individualized package for each child with where they are in maturity and their journey of learning self-management. You can change their access as they grow and teach them responsibility by giving them more access when they show they are ready for it. This tool doesn’t replace talking with and teaching kids about the appropriate use of electronics, but it helps maintain the boundaries you’ve all committed to as a family and helps in those difficult times the “time vortex” takes you by surprise.
Here are a few of the tools I like:
Family Protector makes it simple for parents to limit and manage their child’s mobile online experience. Parents and kids should come to an understanding about how much time they can spend on their mobile device and what hours or social situations are off limits. Family Protector helps reinforce boundaries the family has agreed to. Schedules can be set based on day and time and parents can restrict use of the camera, apps, App Store, and Web browsing.
Meal Time Action
Can’t get your kids to put down their devices for dinner? Use the Meal Time action to shut down access to apps and the Internet, giving them a 5 minute warning before the action takes place. Family Protector helps avoid the time-to-turn-off-the-device battle.
Rook is Intego’s safe browser. It’s automatically installed with Family Protector and allows parents to monitor their child’s web-browsing activities to ensure he/she only visits websites appropriate for him/her.
Parents who share their iOS device with their child can use KidSet to quickly assign that device to whomever is currently using it. For example, if your child wants to use your iOS device to play a game, you can quickly open the KidSet app and assign the device to your child. KidSet automatically changes Family Protector settings based on the restrictions you’ve set for your child and is pin protected.
Set web restrictions using four levels – Strict, By Request, Monitored, or None. With the Strict setting, children can only browse websites that are included on a list that you’ve specified. By Request, kids can only browse websites on your list but can request access to others. With Monitored, your child can visit any website, but you can see their activity in Web History.
With endless mobile experiences and kids who know how to navigate the web better than most adults, safeguarding curious young eyes across devices can be challenging. Family Protector provides parents with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their child will only see age appropriate material on their device. In Strict or By Request modes, parents can enter allowed or restricted websites. This can be done by site or page level.
No parent wants to be surprised to find they owe hundreds of dollars in inadvertent app or in-app purchases made by their kids. Family Protector ensures kids won’t be able to make these types of purchases by making it easy for parents to turn off or on purchasing authorization for each device. In the “Family” tab, click on the child’s name to customize her profile. Then, click on “App & iTunes Store Purchases” and/or “In-App Purchases” to allow or restrict a child’s ability to purchase.
There’s no substitute for ongoing communication between parents and kids about appropriate and safe mobile use, but Family Protector adds an extra layer of protection and gives parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are safe on their mobile devices.
Try a FREE, 14-day trial of the product today!
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