The ‘virtual babysitter’ trend began only a few years ago with the emergence of the Gameboy and handheld consoles such as the Nintendo or the Wii. Recently, with the coming out of tablets, these have been the preferred choice for both children and parents.
What with tablets sharing qualities, memory, and most importantly, the removal of the need to buy game cartridges or CDs? Parents can easily download games that they think are appropriate and beneficial to their children. But as we know, children adapt at a very fast rate so what might stop them from downloading their own games? And the question that follows will be, will parents approve of these games? Or better yet, are parents ever going to find out if a certain game was downloaded?
What is Parental Control?
Parental control is the functionality of a tablet to have an in built restriction that allows parents to put a password on sites and apps that they feel are inappropriate for their children of a certain age. Some tablets are compatible for sharing, which means that separate users may log in with their own passwords in order to have a customized connection. For children, one of these settings may be applied wherein the contents of his page are age appropriate with the necessary applied restrictions.
If you own a tablet that does not have restrictions built in, there are some apps and installations that still allow this feature. Some of these apps include:
- Famigo Manage (http://www.famigo.com/sandbox/)
- Kids Place (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kiddoware.kidsplace)
- Funamo (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=funamo.funamo)
- Screen Time (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.screentime)
- Norton Family (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.symantec.familysafety)
Why is parental control important?
The internet is a very wide and broad jungle of information; some appropriate but mostly mixed in with inappropriate sites and information that children might not be ready for. It has been a common occurrence on the news that a child types in a completely innocent search and comes up with completely inappropriate outcome. This can easily be avoided by parental control via site and app restriction, to also keep children of young ages away from the more violent and adult applications on their tablet.
If you are thinking of getting your child a tablet for his next birthday, then all is fine because tablets have proven to be perfectly fine for children above the age of three anyway, but you might want to think of getting a tablet with the mentioned shared access functionality or the built in parental control. Restriction applications will work as well, but a tablet with it built in will be much more reliable and permanent.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure your child’s eyes and mind are kept safe from inappropriate things like websites or applications, make sure they stick to what is appropriate to their age – educational games, functional games, puzzles, and non-violent applications. Children are very easily adaptable and going the safe route with a restriction is the safest way to go. Remember that once your child sees or reads something on the internet, there is no taking it back.