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Parenting in a digital world: How to Set Parental Controls

I remind parents of children and adolescents in my practice that you must set limits on a child's access to technology early on in order to prevent bigger battles down the road. When you decide it is the right time to introduce technology (iPad, iPhone, etc.) to your child(ren), it is important to set the clear boundary that having this access is a privilege, not a right. This means that they agree to use electronics under your supervision, which means having access to their passwords and having the parental right to check their devices at any time. There is a lot of bad content on the Internet and it's way too easy to gain access to subjects or content that is not yet appropriate for their viewing (even accidentally). Once it is seen, in cannot be "unseen". Just as you would not let your child go out late at night and wander the streets, you would not let your child go and surf the Internet unsupervised. Remember that by setting up the terms early on, your child learns limits are part of the terms of having the privilege of using electronics. If they don't agree or they push back, listen and see if there is some room for compromise. If you can't agree, then you as the parent, have the right to withhold this privilege until they can understand that you as the parent have the responsibility to ensure that what they are engaged in is appropriate and safe.

If you'd like more information on setting parental controls, I invite you to check out this link:

If you haven't set these limits early on and now have a battle on your hands, call us for help to re-establish healthy boundaries for using electronic devices.

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