Parental Controls: Knowing When It’s Too Much

Parental Controls

Trying to set some limits on how much your child can play or binge TikTok and YouTube? Fortunately, setting parental controls isn’t particularly difficult if you know what you’re doing. If you follow the link above, you can learn how to set things up on PC (Mac and Windows), Android, iPhone and iPad, and even your entire Wi-Fi network. What is difficult, however, is knowing when to take a step back. After all, nobody wants to be known as a “helicopter parent”, nor gain the mistrust of their child. Here are some signs of Parental Controls that you should be giving your kid a bit more credit where it’s due.

#1 You spend hours patching up your child’s workarounds

No matter how many restrictions you pile on, your kid can always google a tutorial on how to get around them. Resources are plentiful, whether it’s a video on YouTube, a user guide on Reddit, an answer on Quora, or just articles discussing the topic.

If you find yourself constantly adding new parental control settings as your child bypasses the old ones, it may be time for a different approach.

#2 You avoid answering their difficult questions

Sooner or later, your kid will hear or find out about some things inappropriate for their age. Something you may find uncomfortable discussing with them. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and plenty other topics you can hear by simply turning on the news, or going on social media for more than five seconds.

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Don’t brush them off by telling them “they’ll learn when they’re older” and blocking any Google searches on your PC and their phone. It’s important to talk with your child about whatever they have on their minds. Especially alcohol and other drugs young teens may be exposed to – whether it’s through peer pressure or other means.

Blocking searches for inappropriate topics on their devices will not deter kids from learning about them. That simply ensures that they won’t tell you about it when they use their friend’s phone instead. Be proactive; have those difficult conversations now so you won’t have to deal with worse problems later.

#3 You’re actively monitoring your teen’s online behavior

As children grow up and start learning more things about how the world works, parents should also learn when it’s time to give them some space. Installing software that monitors everything they do online simply sends the message that you don’t trust them. Instead, have a frank discussion with them about the dangers of the Internet. Things like:

  • Not sharing their private data on scam websites – especially not for that cool new skin in PUBG or Fortnite, lest they want their account (and other sensitive data) stolen.
  • What is and isn’t acceptable to post online – think private details about their life to online strangers, or even on social media.
  • Encouraging them to tell you whether they’ve encountered a problem online instead of keeping it to themselves. Essentially, make them feel like they can trust you with their issues, instead of dreading the potential consequences.
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Pro tip: don’t try to “look cool” in front of your kids, either. It’s good to make an effort to understand Internet culture to the best of your ability, but it’s also okay to not understand the latest weird TikTok trends. Make a habit of asking your kids about how they use the Internet, and you’ll create a sense of trust that’s stronger than any parental controls.



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