Mobile phones, tablets and computers can all be configured with parental controls. Whether your goal is to block certain content, set time parameters or just be mindful of usage, a variety of apps and programs are available. Let us know if they work for you and if you hear of others.
- Monitoring and Blocking
OurPact - Mobile guidance for your family, available for iOS and Android
Screen Time - Parental controls for iOS, Android and Kindle devices
Circle with Disney - Parents can filter content, limit screen time and set a bedtime for every device in the home.
ParentKit - Control and schedule what is on your child's iPod, iPad or iPhone
NetSanity - Parental controls for iOS
FamilyTime - Parental controls for iOS and Android
Net Nanny - Parental controls for Android and iOS
Mobile Fence - Parental controls and GPS tracking for Android devices
Verizon Family Base - Monitor wireless activity and set usage limits
AT&T Parental Controls - Manage internet and email activity on computers
T-Mobile Family Allowances - Manage minutes, messages and downloads on phones
Sprint Mobile Controls - Monitor phone usage
DriveMode - Available on Android
All the big carriers have apps to help you on this too. Ask your carrier for the latest
- Mindful Apps
Moment - An iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits.
Checky - For both iOS and Android, Checky lets you track and geographically map your phone use.
Articles Worth Reading:
Think your kid (or you) could be a screen zombie? Take the 'Screenagers' test - Los Angeles Times
Learning How to Exert Self-Control - New York Times
Compulsive Texting Associated with Poorer School Performance Among Girls - American Psychological Association
Compulsive Texting Takes Toll on Teenagers - New York Times
Teaching Self-Control Tips - Provides evidence-based information about parenting and child development.
Organizations or websites with even more resources:
Family Online Safety Institute - International, non-profit organization that works to make the online world safer for kids and their families.
Psychology Today's Parenting in a Digital Age - This blog explores how parents and children might live together meaningfully in a digital age.
Common Sense Media - Empowers parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.
Empowering Parents - Committed to providing parents with sound advice through podcasts, an active blogging community and parenting programs.
Above The Fray - Program to educate parents and teachers about what life is really like online for young people and to give adults the tools they need to begin meaningful dialogues at home and at school.
Richard Freed, Ph.D. - Child and adolescent psychologist, speaker and author of "Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age".
Digital Citizenship describes how we should act in the digital world and how we can use technology responsibly. Many schools have developed programs to teach students strategies around the safe and ethical use of technology. Parents can reinforce these concepts through demonstrating and talking about responsible communication and the skills necessary to navigate the complicated and always changing world of technology.
Digital Citizenship Resources for Educators from Common Sense Education - This turnkey curriculum includes comprehensive resources for students, like lesson plans, student digital interactives, and assessments, as well as professional development for teachers and materials for family education.
9 Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship - A thorough list of resources from ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education.
Top Digital Citizenship Resources for Teachers and Parents - Founded in 2011, CyberWise helps parents and educators understand digital citizenship, online safety and privacy, reputation management, and more so they can help kids embrace technology safely and wisely.
Digizen - Information for educators, parents, carers, and young people. It is used to strengthen their awareness and understanding of what digital citizenship is and encourages users of technology to be and become responsible DIGItal citiZENS.
Edutopia's Digital Citizenship: Resource Roundup - Edutopia, created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, is a comprehensive website and online community that increases knowledge, sharing, and adoption of what works in K-12 education.
YouthSpark Hub - Developed by Microsoft, entertaining program is designed to help kids learn how to manage their digital reputation and stay safe online.
Digital Citizenship - Using Technology Appropriately - The Digital Citizenship Institute is a consortium of educators working together to help navigate the digital world.
What is digital citizenship? by Delaney Ruston, MD
"I've watched SCREENAGERS, now what?"
- Begin talking with your kids, no matter what age, about technology. Perhaps set aside a day like, Tech Tuesday, to discuss an issue in the news (Facebook killer), social media trends (do you know anyone who has been "ghosted"), or what technology they use the most in school.
- Consider making a Family Technology Contract--together. This would include rules for ALL family members. Agreements may include no phones/tech at dinnertime, or no phone in the bedroom when you go to sleep, or no gaming until homework is completed.
- Remember it is never too early to be a good role model. How you use technology influences how your children do or will.
- For parents of young children, try not to overuse technology as a way to keep them occupied at a restaurant or the grocery store for instance, Any technology use should be interactive like skyping with grandparents or enjoying an age appropriate e-book together during a flight,
- Stay informed! Read up on latest tech trends and applications for kids.