July 02, 2018
Proactive parents vs. tech-savvy teen. Keep your teen’s gaming addiction in check with these WiFi hacks.
Raising kids in the digital world is not always glamorous. It’s a constant battle between embracing technology and preserving time offline for things that matter, like bonding with family and completing chores. With the ever-growing gaming industry, it can feel like children are spending more time talking to the stranger in the headset rather than their own parents. If you feel like you’ve lost your child to gaming technology, you have nothing to fear. As tech-savvy as kids may be, you still hold the key to their freedom – internet access. Here are three WiFi hacks to keep your teen’s video game addiction in check:
Limit Time Online
No more having to fall asleep to the soundtrack of gunshots and explosions while your child stays up late playing Fortnite. Set time limits on your child’s internet access so you can get the quiet you deserve and they can get the sleep they need. Most devices, like computers and gaming consoles, are equipped with parental control options. These allow you to gift your child a specified number of internet hours per day, or set a specified time window for internet access, like 6 pm to 8 pm. Think that’s a bit extreme? Over 50% of parents have admitted to limiting their child’s screen time.
If you want to stay on your child’s good side (perhaps even be considered a ‘cool’ parent), ask your child about the game’s parameters first. For example, Fortnite matches can run for up to 20 minutes long so if their time expires mid-battle, you’ll be left with a very frustrated child. By letting your child know how much time they have left before it’s too late, you can prevent them from having to quit mid-game. More importantly, you can save yourself from (at least some) teen rage.
Have you ever covered your child’s eyes during an inappropriate movie scene? Good news, you can do the same with gaming – and you may want to since over 32% of kids shared that their favorite games involved violence. Be proactive by staying up to date on the latest game releases so you can manually restrict access to specific sites and games before your child has a chance to try it out. Sites like Common Sense Media list game reviews and resources for parents, including summaries and ratings based on age appropriateness.
Many gaming devices, including consoles, mobile devices, and desktops, allow for parental controls. Not sure where to start? Devices like the Xbox contain adolescent, teen, and adult default settings that will block access to age-based inappropriate content on the internet. If you prefer to set the boundaries yourself, there’s always the option to create custom settings that best match your preferences. At the end of the day, your kids will only see what you want them to see.
Change Your WiFi Password
The only thing standing between your child and the internet is you. More specifically, your ability to change the WiFi password which can keep unwanted devices off the internet. Since over 97% of kids play computer, mobile, and console games, changing the WiFi password will allow you to remove all devices in one foul swoop. If your child needs to use their laptop to complete homework assignments online, they can gain access only when you enter the password. When they’ve earned back internet privileges, feel free to tell them the password or save it on their device. If a situation arises where you need to revoke it, simply change the password again. The power really is in your hands.
Gaming doesn’t have to get out of hand. By utilizing these WiFi hacks and setting boundaries on your router and devices, you can ensure that your kids are having fun and staying safe while still making time to fold their laundry before they head to bed.