I partnered with Google and Mom it Forward to bring you this post. You already know the thoughts below are all mine.
What kind of mom are you? Are you very permissive? Are you super strict? I am a semi-relaxed mom with a lot of things but super strict with others. My kids don’t have chores yet, and I let them make a lot of their own decisions, yell their feelings out and slam doors, etc. Things I was never allowed to do to express my emotions as a kid. My mother calls it new age parenting.
We are definitely in a new age. I was 14 when my parents got hooked up to the interwebs (AOL dial up, anyone?) so I already had a little bit of sense about safety and limits when browsing the internet.
Rohan (6) and Kaya (5) were born in the internet age and now us parents have to navigate these nebulous waters of managing the content kids have access to on their devices and of course the amount of time spent in front of those screens.
Both kids have tablets, and they also use John and my old phones for games and web-browsing.
Family Link is an app from Google that helps parents navigate both of those easier.
Family Link allows parents to:
- Remotely approve or decline apps their kids want to download
- Hide apps on the device at any time, so they are more productive on their device
- Approve purchases your kids want to make in their favorite apps.
- Restrict what content they can see in the Play Store by maturity rating
- Block specific sites, only allow a curated set of sites, and apply filters that attempt to block mature content
I have to keep reminding my son that I am, in fact, “the boss of him” for now. He just doesn’t get it yet. Family link is helpful in that I get to be the boss without having to be “the meanest mommy in the multiverse” as he likes to call me. I can monitor him and know my parameters for him are set! Family Link even shows you app activity reports so you can keep an eye on what your little ones (or big ones) are using on their device
For older kids Family Link allows you to:
- Set a daily limit for each day of the week, so once that time is up, the device is locked and they can only make calls if they need to.
- Set a device bedtime, so when it’s time to get some sleep, they aren’t distracted by their device. (This is good for little ones too, so mom isn’t the “bad guy” the device is!)
PS: Family Link lets you remotely lock your kid’s device anytime, and if you have a Google Home, you can even make Google do it — just say “Hey Google, lock Kaya’s device.”
I’m trying my best at this new age parenting. I don’t get it right all the time, but overall I think my husband and I are on the right track. I love that there are helpers like Family Link from Google to help me out digitally.
Now, if Google could just create a “Clean your room before mommy throws all your belongings on the lawn and sets it on fire” app… I’d really appreciate it.