5 min read by Bogdi
published 10 luni în urmă, updated 5 luni în urmă
With an increasing number of children partaking in online schooling, it is becoming more difficult for parents to restrict internet access during school time. Even the kids that go to school in person struggle to keep their phones put away in their locker to keep them from being distracted during classes. They sneak glances here and there, even with teachers' best efforts to keep them focused.
As a parent, how do you keep your child’s internet time to a minimum during school and those crucial after-school homework hours? Read on to find out the best course of action to restrict your child's internet access during school time.
Before taking any sort of drastic measures, it is best to always talk to your children first. Placing trust in your children by teaching them about internist safety and the importance of learning, can work for quite a few parents. The more children realize that the internet is a privilege and not a right, the more they learn to respect restrictions.
Implementing an honor system with your kids can build trust between the two of you and can be all that is needed to restrict screen time. Many parents do not realize the power a simple conversation can have.
As a general rule, you should first teach your children the dangers of too much screen time. Then set clear expectations for them to limit their internet time. Finally, inform them of the consequences of not following the agreed-upon rules.
They will start to understand your concerns once they learn that too much screen time can result in:
If the child has to be on the computer to be in class, make sure they know they should only be focused on class, and not playing on the internet. This is because using electronic devices during school hours to play can result in lower grades.
Once you set clear expectations for your kids, you too should follow those expectations. The mutual trust and honor system between the two of you can be enough to keep a child from breaking the agreed-upon rules.
For example, you will likely have the child leave their electronic devices in their backpack during the school day to not distract them from learning. You should do your best to not scroll through your phone at work either. When both of you are home and they are doing homework, you should restrict your own usage time at that time to not promote bad behavior.
The best way to ensure the honor system works is to uphold it yourself. Mutual trust between a child and parent can go a long way when it comes to internet safety and restrictions.
If your child breaks their end of the honor system, do not resort to hard methods right away. Talk with them again about the importance of limiting internet usage during school time.
However, if they continue to disregard the honor system, it may be time to implement parental controls on their devices. These controls will restrict the websites they can access to keep them focused on their schoolwork. This also may be necessary for younger children to prevent them from accidentally accessing adult websites (porn, dating apps, etc.) while searching innocent questions for schoolwork.
If you want to block certain websites, all you have to do is go into their browser and enable Google SafeSearch. Be sure that the browsers they use have Google as the default search engine though. If your kids are older, they may realize they can easily get around this by using a different search engine, so this may be best for younger children.
Every device has parental controls built into its operating system that can be activated. These controls can prevent your child from accessing certain websites and are capable of filtering content like porn or mature games. This sort of precaution works best for younger children that primarily use a singular device that you can keep track of easily. Older children may be able to figure out how to get around these controls.
The best way to restrict your child's internet access is with a third-party control service. These services allow you to:
You can impose time limits on when they can do certain activities. So, while they are doing schoolwork, you can prevent them from browsing the internet or going onto social media.
You can also simply use the service to see what your kids are doing to see if they are holding up their end of the honor system. By monitoring their internet access, you can limit the restrictions you impose at first to see if they will limit their usage themselves. This way, you are offering them a chance to still have freedom and prove they can be trustworthy.
A few good parental control services to consider using are:
Many routers have scheduling features to help manage Wi-Fi features at certain times. However, if your child needs Wi-Fi to complete their school activities, you will need to find a solution that doesn't involve shutting off the Wi-Fi.
Luckily, there are software and hardware solutions to your problem. You can find downloads like Open DNS, that work with your existing router and can filter internet content. You can also use devices like Circle Home Plus that pair with your existing router to:
Your greatest defense against your children accessing things on the internet they should not be during school is talking to them. Open communication about internet safety will always be your best line of defense. The more kids know, the better they will be about safely navigating the web.
Another tip is to have separate devices for school time and playtime. If your child has to do school online from home, have a computer specifically for that purpose that you can restrict certain websites on as well as password protect to prevent children from downloading games onto it. A great password manager to consider using is NordPass.
By having a separate computer solely for work, you will not have to impose social media restrictions and gaming website restrictions on their devices meant for recreational use. Simply make the children leave their phones or other devices plugged in in another room while they work to prevent them from sneaking onto them and getting distracted.
There are plenty of educational websites and apps that are perfectly fine for your child to use during school hours. Teaching your children, the difference between what is acceptable during school hours to browse through and what is not can make a huge difference in their education. Teaching kids what is safe to search in general is also extremely important.
Take the time to talk to your kids about internet safety and how they should be using the internet during school hours. Only if they prove multiple times that they cannot be trusted should you take steps towards blocking or limiting certain websites and screen time.
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I make sure to answer them as soon as possible!