Teenagers on the computer/Ipad - Limit their time? How about safety?

Chriss - posted on 02/07/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )





So, my two sons ( 13 and 15) are kind of abusing their computer/gadget time. I've been kind of easy on them with not imposing time limits and I've always felt that because I'm very busy I should be more permissive with them.

Of course, that meant that they spend roughly 80% of their free time online or playing .
I'm not the most well-informed parent when it comes to computer-safety, but I would like to know more about any stuff that might help me limit/monitor what they're doing. I'm not trying to snoop or anything. I just want to know that they're not browsing through adult sites or stuff like that.

How can I do that? Is it better to impose strict time limits or is should I go and find an app or something that might help me "keep track"?

P.S. I really don't want to be "the nazi-mom", I really would like to find out what your suggestions are. I'll post anything I find on the topic so that others may see.


Ev - posted on 02/07/2014




Its good that you are worried about the internet and gadget use. It is also good to be on top of where they go online and what they see. At these ages they are very impressionable still. Also people who prey on kids and teens use a lot of different websites, chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter and other things to get to them. You need to sit them down first and talk to them about safety and then do the time limits as rules and check the history of where they have been.

1) Just because a parent gets real busy does not mean you should be more permissive with your kids. They will take advantage of that in time.

2) Set up a rule about when internet use is for fun and that they get say an hour or two a day outside of homework. If they can not follow that they loose the access for fun. Gadgets (video games etc) should also fall under this rule as well. There are loads of other things kids need to do besides gadget time. Find their interests and then encourage them to take that on as a hobby.

3) Talk about internet safety. Tell them about not giving out personal information to those they do not know. It can either get them in trouble with a predator or someone could steal their identity. They need to know this.

4) There are apps out there that can help you to keep an eye on their internet activities. These are called parental controls. Now while I think they are great for helping to set up time frames to allow for kids to be on and limits, for limiting the sites they go to, and allow you the chance to check the history; there is nothing out there as good as you. You need to set up the computer(s) in an open area of the home and actually look over their shoulders to see where they are on the screen. Tell them that you need to be able to do this when you establish the rules.

5) You are the best tool in your tool box so to speak. I am sure it can not be that hard for you to set limits if you have set limits on other things before this. I am the mom of a 24 year old and a 17 year old boy.


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Chriss - posted on 02/09/2014




Hello Evelyn! Thanks for taking the time and replying to my post.
The thing is, I've tried talking to them and discussing online safety and personal information and while the kids were pretty receptive of the whole idea, it didn't really make them cut back on their computer/gadget time.

I truly agree with your first point and I'm currently trying to rectify that error.

I've been searching the web for a program/app that would help me and I came across this thing called Qustodio. (http://www.qustodio.com )
So far, I've tested the free version on my PC and it seems pretty good. It keeps track of all the computer activity and internet activity, without being intrusive (or so I think.)

I'll try and talk to the guys about installing it on their computer and their gadgets. Hopefully they won't react in a hostile way.

Thanks again for the reply, I still have a lot of difficulty raising two boys :) and there are plenty more questions on the way.

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