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Parental Control/Game time limiter

122767 Views 105 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2014 2:35 PM by GamerParent RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • BigDogues Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2013 6:21 PM (in response to Struwwwelpeter)

    This is exactly what I need too!

  • Alrale Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
  • csdaly Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 5:35 PM (in response to Struwwwelpeter)

    This is a very important topic. I think the original poster was trying to do too much though!  Anyway, I have a 9 year old with an iPod touch and he's starting to play it all the time.  Luckily, he's not a teen yet, so we still have time to work out a system.  We have time restriction software on the PC - it's perfect, just shuts down straight away once his time's up.  No extensions, no arguments.  He accepts it.  But then he just moves to the iPod.  The Snow Leopard software mentioned seems good and I will check it out.  I agree with one poster that if you want them to listen to music only, then buy a dedicated player for it.  Thanks for raising the issue and all those constructive replies above.

     

    I didn't really want him to get an Apple product as I was aware they have restrictions on customizing, use of non-iTunes mp3s etc.  He's a fashion victim (at nine!).  Anyway, if I can't find adequate parental controls I just won't buy him any more Apple products.  I use non-Apple technology (PC, PMP, phone) and they are perfectly flexible.  So the best thing for the lack of flexibility is just to shop around!

  • csdaly Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 5:56 PM (in response to csdaly)

    Nope cancel that.  Snow Leopard appears a completely new operating system (I'm not that into Macs).  Back to the drawing board.

  • cafechick Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 9, 2013 7:23 PM (in response to Struwwwelpeter)

    I would love to know if anyone managed to find a better solution.  We have the same problem.  I have downloaded Time Lock but its not really what I am after.  I would love for the device to shut down at a certain time every day - and be disabled without a password (which we would set).  With Time Lock you have to actually turn it on every day.  We can turn WIFI off so he can't access the web but he can still play games.  Until something better comes along, we will have to take his device off him every night to ensure he gets a good nights sleep!  I wish there was something better!

  • christian heretic Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 7:22 AM (in response to Struwwwelpeter)

    I am late to this discussion but you might be interested in my story. Two years ago my 15 yr old son was spending too much time on his Mac to the detriment of his studies. I set up the Apple Parental Controls on the device to restrict the hours that he could access his time wasting sites. Within 24 hours he had

     

         taken root control of the computer

         made himself administrator

         reset the time controls to be meaningless

         reversed the process in the hope that I would not notice.

     

    Luckily, he had written down some pretty advanced code on a piece of paper beside the computer which led me to the changes he had made.

     

    Arising out of that experience I got funding from the EU to put a team of doctoral software engineers into a project with Trinity College Dublin  that attempted to build a control mechanism for parents to install on all digital devices in the home. You can see the initial output of that work at Aftermath (www.getaftermath.com).

     

    Bottom line, in relation to this discussion, is that if you are concerned about parental controls for your children do not buy Apple products. Apple continue, even in their iOS 6, to make it too easy for children to circumvent parental controls.

     

    (We have made attempts to discuss this with Apple on a number of occasions without the courtesy of a response)

     

    If anyone is interested to know more you can contact me throught the website.

     

    Regards

     

    Pierce

    macbook 13', Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 8:33 AM (in response to christian heretic)

    christian heretic wrote:

     

    I am late to this discussion but you might be interested in my story. Two years ago my 15 yr old son was spending too much time on his Mac to the detriment of his studies. I set up the Apple Parental Controls on the device to restrict the hours that he could access his time wasting sites. Within 24 hours he had

     

         taken root control of the computer

         made himself administrator

         reset the time controls to be meaningless

         reversed the process in the hope that I would not notice.

     

    Luckily, he had written down some pretty advanced code on a piece of paper beside the computer which led me to the changes he had made.

     

    Arising out of that experience I got funding from the EU to put a team of doctoral software engineers into a project with Trinity College Dublin  that attempted to build a control mechanism for parents to install on all digital devices in the home. You can see the initial output of that work at Aftermath (www.getaftermath.com).

     

    Bottom line, in relation to this discussion, is that if you are concerned about parental controls for your children do not buy Apple products. Apple continue, even in their iOS 6, to make it too easy for children to circumvent parental controls.

     

    (We have made attempts to discuss this with Apple on a number of occasions without the courtesy of a response)

     

    If anyone is interested to know more you can contact me throught the website.

     

    Regards

     

    Pierce

    Maybe you should have invested some of that funding into developing an app that would teach YOU how to teach your child to discipline himself. 

     

    I have followed this thread from the very beginning, and almost without exception none of the posts have chosen to address the core issue:  Lack of discipline. 

     

    I'm not talking about punishment.  I'm talking about teaching your children to be responsible for their actions, to respect your parental authority, and to grow up to be a productive members of society.

     

    Instead, it has been my observation that parents are too self absorbed and are unwilling to give of themselves to help their children grow up.

     

    Shame on you, shame on you all....

  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 8:39 AM (in response to cafechick)

    cafechick wrote:

     

    I would love to know if anyone managed to find a better solution.  We have the same problem.  I have downloaded Time Lock but its not really what I am after.  I would love for the device to shut down at a certain time every day - and be disabled without a password (which we would set).

    I have one:  Take possession of the device.  Other than that, unless you teach your child to honor your wishes, all bets are off...

  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 8:40 AM (in response to csdaly)

    csdaly wrote:

     

    This is a very important topic. I think the original poster was trying to do too much though!  Anyway, I have a 9 year old with an iPod touch and he's starting to play it all the time.  Luckily, he's not a teen yet, so we still have time to work out a system.  We have time restriction software on the PC - it's perfect, just shuts down straight away once his time's up.  No extensions, no arguments.  He accepts it.  But then he just moves to the iPod.  The Snow Leopard software mentioned seems good and I will check it out.  I agree with one poster that if you want them to listen to music only, then buy a dedicated player for it.  Thanks for raising the issue and all those constructive replies above.

     

    I didn't really want him to get an Apple product as I was aware they have restrictions on customizing, use of non-iTunes mp3s etc.  He's a fashion victim (at nine!).  Anyway, if I can't find adequate parental controls I just won't buy him any more Apple products.  I use non-Apple technology (PC, PMP, phone) and they are perfectly flexible.  So the best thing for the lack of flexibility is just to shop around!

    What?  You can't control a 9 year old?  Take the iPod away from him.  If he cries, too bad. And while you're at it, grow a pair....

  • danagerous420 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 9:06 AM (in response to cliftonfromrichmond)

    Sounds like someone is being righteous today

     

    I would argue that many parents/adults don't have self-control or discipline. I look around and see adults walking down the street tapping away on their smartphones, or texting, or doing whatever they think is so important to do at that exact time. For the record, i don't own a smartphone or cell phone. It's even worse when i see them in their cars doing the same thing at a traffic light or while driving. I blame society in general. Look around you. Children learn from observation too. The old saying "Monkey see, monkey do" comes to mind.

     

    The simple solution is not to buy these devices for our kids. Is that realistic? Not really. My friends daughter purchased her own iPod with babysitting money. So it is still available to them. I consider myself lucky and that we did something right with our daughter. My daughter always asks if she can use her iPod. When i ask her to put it away, she does. It sits on her alarm clock dock in her room with no problems. She also is not allowed to take it to school.

     

    As for Christian's post above...if you kid can take root control of his machine he/she is one in a million. Not too many kids care enough to understand how the code or the OS work. That is talent in my opinion. I was punished in grade school for creating simple video games programming in Basic. That kind of talent should not be punished. It should be guided. Your kid has a mathematical mind, harness it and he/she can achieve great things.

     

    Back to the original post. It cannot be that difficult for Apple to implement the same controls on the iOS as it does with it's OS; to simply lock the device down. I'm not sure how much power those controls use but there has to be a way for the software engineers to make it an option with mobile CPU's. The parental controls on the OS (Snow Leopard) work for my girlfriend's son and now he is learning to manage his time within the scheduled time allotted to him on his laptop each day. It only took 2 months for him to figure out time management and discipline. He uses some of the time for games and some of the time to research information. So parental controls do work and have a purpose for those who are not tech savvy and for kids who don't even understand the first thing about how the OS actually works with the hardware.

     

    The parental controls are a tool, not a solution.

  • thebirdbrain Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 10:07 AM (in response to Struwwwelpeter)

    Please, cliftonfromrichmon, give it a break.  So we all know your views on parenting.  If you want to continue to express them then please go to mumsnet or some site concerend with parenting.  This site is for Aple-related tech issues, so it is no wonder that people (other than) you have been talking about the possibility or otherwise of technical tools to do this.

  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 10:41 AM (in response to thebirdbrain)

    thebirdbrain wrote:

     

    Please, cliftonfromrichmon, give it a break.  So we all know your views on parenting.  If you want to continue to express them then please go to mumsnet or some site concerend with parenting.  This site is for Aple-related tech issues, so it is no wonder that people (other than) you have been talking about the possibility or otherwise of technical tools to do this.

    OK then.  Guess what?  There is no 100% sure technical solution, and by the time some one comes up with one, some one else comes out with a new device, or a workaround to beat the solution.  The answer is not in the device, or the software that powers it.  The answer is, PARENTS are the solution.

     

    And just so you know, I am feeling "righteous" because I raised my children the old fashioned way:  I set rules, and if you broke the rules you suffered the consequences.  By the same token, I rewared good behavior, and in very short order my children realized that being responsible and disciplined payed off.  My oldest son runs his own business, my daughter is a registered and certified child counselor, and my youngest is a published author with a Master's in Literature.

     

    Not bad for a crusty old sailor....

  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 10:48 AM (in response to danagerous420)

    Dangerous:

     

    I agree.  I never disputed the fact that parental controls on electronic devices can have some success, but on the other hand, relying soley on those controls is IMNSHO, foolhardy.  Think about the kid with the programming talent.  Those controls represented a challenge, not a hinderance, so he set about defeating them, and in 24 hours he won.

     

    The real bottom line is, who is in charge?  In that case it certainly wasn't the parents....

  • cafechick Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 8:51 PM (in response to cliftonfromrichmond)

    Clifton - we already do that - take the iPod at night time.  He likes to listen to music or an audio book before bed which is why we would like for him to be able to still use it for these things.  Unfortunately, he can't be trusted to just stay listening to something - and he gets caught playing Minecraft or Clash of Clans (his current favourites).  He understands he now has to hand it over before bed, I was just looking for other options - some kind of timer app which blocks off the games and just allows the audio use. Obviously there is nothing out there just yet. 

  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 12, 2013 4:56 AM (in response to cafechick)

    Unfortunately if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes. 

     

    When I was a freshman in HS, (mid 1960's) I used to keep my grand mothers AM radio under my pillow so I could listen to KOMA AM 1520 in Oklahoma.  Because we lived in the high desert of AZ, I had reception only after sun down.  I ran the batteries down (4 D Cells), and she made me buy new ones.

     

    From that point on I made sure the radio was off before I fell asleep..

     

    If you just want him to have music, you might look into an older iPod.  I have a 30gig iPod 5th Generation Video that works just fine.  I also have a 30 gig Zune that I use so I can listen to FM when I'm on my Harley Sportster.

     

    Another upside to giving him an older device for music is it can be a reward for good behavior.

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