I have an interesting issue. We have two new kids that have come to us with tablets. Normally, we would give children of this age tablets (7 and 11). These tablets would have parental controls, and while new kids wouldn't like it they accept it as the price of having access to the tablets.
However these kids have come with their own tablets, and we don't want to take them away. So we have these issues.
- We need the parental controls installed
- The kids have not had them before are are accessing age inappropriate content, but without understanding why it's inappropriate
- They will not like when they parental controls are used for "behavior" issues like bed times and time outs.
- We don't want to just take the tablets away
For the record the type of parental controls that we use are:
- Bedtime the tablets turn off. And don't work till morning
- Content restrictions - Though based off ESRB and the like we can bypass (and sometimes do) for certain circumstances (like Spotify is allowed even though it's content rating is "Teen")
- These restrictions make them ask before installing any applications or games. Though we always try to say yes, sometimes it's lead to conversations about why the answer is no.
- Time out - A careful one, but "I need you to do your homework after this level" that turns into an all out war, Time out (from the tablet) becomes are "go to" option. "Ok, I said that you need to start on your homework after that level, but you wanted to fight about it, so untill you can show us that you can, no tablets after school till your homework is done." - I hope that example helps explain it.
- Usage restrictions. Like if you used your tablet for more then 5 hours today, then it's time to do something else. We set this limit quite high, as tablets include a lot of things. But there is a point where it's time to put down the tablet and get some excersize or something. Honestly we try to make sure there is enough to do that this limit can't be reached, but it's a good safety net.
Lastly, as an example of are inappropriate content, the eldest is 11 and likes to play and watch others play GTA, because it's fun to beat up the hookers. While I am not really one for censorship, this is a good example of an area that I think I need to gain some control in. I get that the limits need to be flexible, but there is some content that is just over the lines for their age range.
How can we help them understand why the parental controls are needed, without coming off like we are trying to take "everything" away? I know we are taking some things away, and some of it they won't understand or like.