Your child or teen may feel like you are being a ‘mean’ parent or that you just want to snoop on them, but setting up parental controls is extremely important. Not only can it help to protect your child from cyberbullying or explicit content, but it can also prevent expensive mistakes like in-app purchases.
In short, parent controls are peace of mind. I once heard someone liken it to teaching your child how to cross the road. First, you teach them to walk and they cross the road holding your hand; you repeat the safety rules to them each time about looking both ways and crossing at the lights, but you don’t just send them on their way to navigate the traffic themselves. You cross the road with them time and again until you are both sure that the safety message has sunk in and that the risk has been reduced.
Parent controls on your child’s phone or devices are the hand-holding that’s needed as they navigate their online space, as they create boundaries in this ‘always on’ world, and as they learn the implications of circumstances none of us parents had to deal with as children. Phishing, scamming, sexting, cyberbullying, log ins, passwords, keeping their details secure…it’s a veritable minefield.
So, what can you do? Your child or teen will make mistakes with their online interactions – that’s hard to avoid – but setting boundaries and limits from day one with parental controls will help to better prepare you and them. Digital tools like Qustodio will help to easily manage your concerns, or you can use the in-built device settings to set screen time limits, filter explicit language and content, block certain websites and more.