Tech Parenting

I’ve got 4 kids, three of which are teenagers. And like me, they are crazy into their technology and gadgets. They are even more into gaming than I. Unlike me, however, they have a bedtime, especially during the school year. Getting kicking them off the internet across their plethora of devices (laptops, phones and Gameboys) at bedtime has always been a challenge. This is especially true as their smaller devices are normally charged in their bedrooms. I’ve tried taking the devices away but then it turns into a battle every night and it’s something that I have to remember to do and ultimately ends up failing. I’ve tried

But about a year ago, I hit upon an idea that has seemed to work for us. It’s a simple idea but works really well. I got two routers. One is for the parents and the other is for the kids. The one for the parents is what I connect to, the Xbox connects to, the Chromecast and the like. The kids don’t get this password and for further security, it’s in my bedroom.

The other router is called HolmesKids and that one is the one that the kids connect to. It has parental controls on it and among other things, the parental controls shut it off as of 9:00 every night and then turn it back on about 8:00 the next day. No fuss, no battle, nothing for me to forget, works while I’m out of town and so on. It’s just simple and clean.

This is something that even non-technical parents can set up. There are a lot of routers out there that come with parental controls and instructions on how to set it up. And once you have it set up, it manages itself (and your kids) with no further maintenance.

One word of warning, make sure that you read what the parental controls will and won’t allow you to do. For example, some of the Cisco ones only allow you to manage up to 5 devices. My kids will do 3 phones, 2, laptops and 3 Gameboys so oops – we’re over that limit quickly.

You should try it!

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