Helpful Hints for Parents
Parents can use various methods and settings to limit the way your child uses their iPad. Below is some helpful information and tips on monitoring your child's iPad use at home.
- Students don’t need to use the iPad all the time at home. Ensure that there is a balance between your child's time using technology and other things in their life. See below section on Screen Time for further information.
- Children need their sleep, so we strongly suggest that the iPad is not taken to bed.
- We recommend that you specify where in the house the iPad can be used and where it is to be stored and charged when not in use. (We advise this is not in the child's bedroom). This should apply to all devices, including mobile phones.
- Talk about internet activities openly and freely with your child.
- Have your child use the iPad in a shared family area where you can monitor how long your child is online as well as the websites your child is visiting.
- Check the history in Safari or any web browser they may have used.
- If you are experiencing problems with your child being off-task while completing homework or during their study time, there is the option of setting up Guided Access. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available. It can help your child stay focused on a task while using their iPad.
- Mobile phones and other digital devices have access to the Internet, so these devices need to be monitored also.
- Explain to your child that not all information on the internet is good, true or helpful, and that some areas are are not intended for children to see.
- Help your child identify unsuitable material by naming some things to look out for, such as sites that contain scary or rude pictures, swearing or angry words.
- Empower your child to use the internet safely by showing your child safe sites and explaining why they are safe. It is also important to educate your child on why it's not safe to give out any personal details online. See our Keeping your Child Safe Online page for more information and resources.
- Parental Controls are available on the iPad, if needed. Please note, these restrictions only work on downloaded iTunes music, games and apps and will not restrict or block inappropriate websites when using Safari or any other web browser app. Parental Controls can block iPad features that may be needed at school. See below for more information.
The internet can help children develop socially and academically. But too much time online, playing games, socialising and so on, can have a negative effect. For children, a balance of online and offline activities is important.
Many older children spend time on the internet socialising, studying and for entertainment. There is no guideline for the right amount of time for children to spend online, however if their online behaviour appears to impact negatively on their behaviour or wellbeing, or that of the family, it may be time to discuss expectations, and establish online time limits.
Some tips for parents:
- Look for indicators that your child may be spending too much time online, such as a decline in interest in other activities, talking constantly about an online game or activity, a decline in grades or irritability when they are away from an online game. You may also suspect they are getting up after bed time to play a game.
- Children may seem quite tired during the day or skip meals to avoid leaving the computer.
- You may like to check with your child's school to identify whether they are experiencing issues with timeliness or quality of work and tiredness.
- Consider establishing rules about when children can play games or use the internet and how long they can play each day. You might consider agreeing with your child a set balance of online activities and offline activities such as outside play, homework and housework. A two week trial of new rules might be useful to establish whether they seem to provide a good balance for your child and your family.
- Establishing rules with children when they are young can help with the management of their online activities as they get older.
- Try to locate the computer in a shared or visible place in the home so you are aware of how much time your child spends online.
- If you have concerns about your child's online behaviour explore your concerns with them.
Using parental controls on your child's DEVICES
With Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, parents can block or limit specific apps and features on their child's device. Parents can also restrict the settings on their child's iPad in regards to explicit content, purchases, downloads, and privacy.
See Apple's instructions on using these parental controls.
These restrictions are protected through the use of a passcode. This passcode must not be forgotten, as it is the only way to access these settings after it has been set.
It is also recommended that parents back up the iPad after changing these settings. By backing the iPad up after, you are able to restore the iPad along with the restrictions passcode at a later time, if required.
With Screen Time, Apple has introduced a robust set of parental control options in iOS 12, giving parents a way to monitor and limit the amount of time children are spending on their iOS devices, within specific apps, and more. The two videos to the right provide some more information on these Screen Time options.
There are also several parental control apps that can be used to manage screen time. OurPact is one way to control the amount of screen time your child is having outside of school hours. It enables parents to set scheduled times when the devices apps cannot be accessed or grant and block access at any time in a few simple steps. Another option with similar functionality is Kidslox.
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