Author Lighthouse Internet Guardian
Creating an open and honest dialogue with your kids around the ins and outs of the internet, is a great way to stay in the loop, while at the same time giving your children the freedom to learn and live in our digital world. A good starting point is setting up some ground rules, and making sure they're understood and that everyone is onboard. Here are a few ideas on what can be included in your family's internet rules.
Balance is important in a child's life, and screen time should strike a happy harmony with other activities, such as outdoor play and reading. Decide on how much screen time is suitable for your child, and what are the conditions around this designated time. Must your child first complete their homework and chores? You can make use of the screen time monitoring tools on an iOS or Android device. And based on your child’s usage, you are able to use Lighthouse to remotely switch off internet access on your child's device if they have surpassed the limit you've set.
No Phone Zones
Are there any zones where no phones are allowed? For example, if your family cherishes dinnertime, then make it a rule that no phones are allowed around the dinner table. With Lighthouse you can schedule the internet to automatically switch off at specified times, like at dinnertime or during the morning rush.
Setting the Limits
You want your child to enjoy the information online, but at the same time be protected from content you don't approve of. You can adjust the filter on the Lighthouse app based on your rules, to ensure your child sticks to stuff you're fine with. You are also able to deny internet access to certain apps.
Being Their First 'Friend'
If your child wants to join an online social network, you can make one of the conditions that you want to be their first friend / follower. This gives you a view over what they're sharing and the conversations they're engaging in. It is important to keep in mind that within direct messaging areas of a network, you will have no line of site.
Stay in the Public Domain
Some parents prefer to have a family computer in a communal space, this allows for monitoring and open conversation around what your child is browsing. Cordless devices, like phones and iPads are more difficult to keep in one area. You can still request sticking to the common living spaces, and Lighthouse can help you keep a watchful eye in the background.
Who is it okay for your child to engage with online? You can set the parameters of the people who are acceptable to engage with. Network gaming, social media and special interest forums all open your child up to strangers. If you'd prefer your child to stick to online kids communities, or only friends from school that you know, tell them that. If anyone else approaches them online, you can ask them to let you know.
No Devices at Bedtime
You could make a rule that devices are not used after bedtime. This ensures that your child is getting a good night's rest. To help you enforce this rule, you can use the feature on the Lighthouse app which allows you to schedule a recurring internet cutoff time. For example, you can request that at 21:00, every night, the internet access to your child's phone is automatically switched off.
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