I wholly understand your concerns, they are my concerns. On the computer, for sometime, I have used Norton Family, which I could use to control access to programs and time limits, there is even a Norton Family app which would allow me to unlock access to certain things for them, if I was not near a computer and they needed early internet access for homework for example. I have not allowed an iPhone because of the facility to use it for more than just contact, however with Apple providing educational content and schools using that content and assigning it to children, the same issue with the iPhone arises with the iPad. They go on, to spend time on a times tables app or check something on an eText book and the apps that they are allowed to use during free time are fully available and very tempting to use at the wrong time. There are great classs scheduling apps and homework notation apps, grades tracking apps, but I know better than to believe that if I suggest the use of these for school, that is all that will be used during school time. The inability to control the entertainment time on the iPod/Pad when being used for educational purposes, is almost like allowing a kid to take a pocket TV to school while turned on and playing cartoons because they are going to use it at some point during the day to view a PBS documentary.
So, to cliftonfromrichmond, the people from this forum are not trying to abdicate their parental responsibility, because, as was pointed out by someone else, an all or nothing approach (allow the kid to use it or just take it away) is not the solution to this new mobile problem. It wasn't the solution for computers and it isn't here. It works just fine for TV because TV is s single purpose device. the people here realise that their parental responsibility has been expanded because of these devices.
I am a concerned parent of 3 teenage boys. I did notice they tend to spend way too much time on GameCenter/Dragonvale/Zombiecafe etc etc games. Not because I spy on them, I simply ask them what they're up to. Mom says these are okay games (she is a Technology Integrator at the same school as the children)....
Still, because these devices (iPod Touch or iPad) are not specifically designed for kids, I think the best thing to do is talking to your kids in making them aware and responsible of their time management and associated risks with being online. But in reality, being a parent is way too challenging and kids will be kids: Sometimes not even OpenDNS filtering is enough.
I don't think the solution is trashing all the fantastic Apple devices and their software; a tool to responsible-parenting watch is to simply buy a mac Mini with OSX Server and manage your devices from there: it keeps an eye on the assets and trust me, it's not rocket science! Apple makes it easy!
I'm about to take a hard look at another router (Linksys) that seem to have apps built for it that would work pretty well. May want to take a look.
You made some very good points, and I agree that raising your kids to be responsible individuals is a challenge, but its not impossible. Parents have been doing exactly that for thousands of years, and the general principles have not really changed: Parents have to make the rules, parents need to enforce the rules, and parents should never back down.
Just because we live in an age that is pretty much technology driven we do not have to let technology drive our individual lives or the lives of our children.
The bottom line is, we as parents need to know when to say no, mean what we say, and stand our ground. Our kids are going to whine and cry about the rules not being fair, but life isn't fair, and no one ever said the family unit has to be run like a democracy. My family sure wasn't... What my father said was the law, and there was no getting around it. I rasied my kids the same way and today one son owns a very profitable business, my daughter is an executive with an energy company in Texas, and my youngest son is a published author and poet with a Master's degree in literature.
As one parent to another, do the right thing and you won't have to worry about your kids, or turn their safety over to a machine. That would be a crime....
I just stumbled on MobiFlock. Looks almost too god to be true. It is a subscription service, about $24/year. Since some of you have been looking for something like this for a lot longer than I have, you may be more discerning than I am. I would like to hear from several of you about your opinion of this app. They do have a short free trial offer for testing.
You're spot on, Drmcgene, MobiFlock is (unfortunately) too good to be true.
The features of MobiFlock available to iOS devices are severely limited - presumably due to Apple's restrictions already discussed here. It allows some web browsing control, but that's about it.
There are no Applications restrictions or timetables available to iOS users.
It's worthy, and one of many tools available to do this on the other device platforms, but doesn't provide a solution on iOS.
I agree - My Children use there iPods to play music when going to sleep but often wake in the night or early morning and rather than going back to sleep have a quick peek at there game progress or some other thing that's on there mind. We also allow then to text there Grandmother unrestricted so it would be preferable that only games are locked. There computer are whitelisted and all controls are locked down.
We have made the rule and now we want to enforce them using tech rather than patrolling the corridors looking for LCD glow. Removing the slates and chisel was what our ancestors did. Employing electronic limits is what modern parents can do. Just like we now have car seats for children and seatbelts. No one suggest that modern parents are doing it wrong for using them and suggesting in the old days they just drove safer. New technology requires new parental tasks.
I see there is a sleep timer function that reportedly will switch off the device - why cant a timer app clip into that by activating the in built sleep timer.
Someone said we can do this if we jail break the device - I am OK with that as the only other option it to buy an Android (we only have Apple devices). Are there any apps for jailbroken devices?
My son is 12 and we are starting to go through all of this. It may end up we get him a reg. Ipod and sell his GD Touch.
However, in the meantime, the one thing I was able to do under general settings was to disable his instant messaging. If he can't tespect our rules around time limits then he won't be allowed to use that function. The great part is that the Restrictions setting allows for a different passcode than the opening screen one. In the end it might come down to selling the **** thing or a ball-peen hammer. Maybe we'll blend it in a Vita-mixer! Haha. Good luck to you!
I have a 12 year old grandson so I know exactly what you are going through. What you need to keep in mind is the iPod is not causing your son's bad behavior.
My step-daughter and my step-grandson are at almost constant war over his behavior, and it doesn't matter if its his X-Box, his iPod, his Kindle, or his phone, the boy is always pushing the envelope.
In my situation there is a lot more at play here than just a teenager acting out. Take a look at the big picture and then start asking 'Why does he do this?"
I'm with you on this one. If the iOS had the same option to set time restrictions as Snow Leopard then it would be easy. It gets more complex though when a user only wants one thing accessed; in this case music player only after the allotted time has been used.
I would still settle for locking it down completely like the Snow Leopard parental control and then having the kid come to you for more time so you know exactly how much time they have been spending on the device. I did that for my girlfriends son. I gave him my old Mac and set it up accordingly to not allow him to use it more than 18hrs/week split up over 7 days and locks down between 7pm and 6am so he's not up at night trying to use it. If he wants more time on any given day, he needs to see the admin (Mom).
For music, buy a cheap mp3 player and sync the same music onto it and let them have that. Then you know for sure that they a listening to music. My daugther had an MP3 player before an iPod Touch so she still has her music on that if i need to take away the iPod Touch someday.
Luckily my daughter has enough self control to put her device away; she actually gets bored of it easily, as do I. My daughter uses is it mostly as a communication tool with friends and family.