iPad Tips for Parents
Digital safety is of the utmost importance. Intentional, frequent discussions with your child of any age, are necessary and allow you to be proactive in protecting your child and further educating him/her. Experts warn that children are most vulnerable to online dangers while at home. Please read the Digital Citizenship page on this website and note the following suggestions, as they might be of assistance in further educating your child about appropriate use of technology including the iPad and home Internet use.
Filtering Internet Content
The iPad has very basic Internet Content Filtering built-in (see the iPad Restrictions page for information on how to turn it on). While many potential dangers are ﬁltered and blocked on the school’s network, children often have complete, unrestricted access to inappropriate sites at home. Experts strongly suggest installing software to ﬁlter and block inappropriate content on your home network. OpenDNS (free version available) is a product that can provide parental controls that automatically protect every Internet-connected device in your home (not just the iPad).
Monitor & Limit Screen Time
Experts suggest having children surf the Internet in a central place at home, such as the kitchen or family room, rather than away from adult supervision or behind a closed door. Know what your child is doing with technology and how his or her time is being spent. Technology can be a great tool and resource, but also has the potential to be a big distractor. Help your child learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments prior to engaging in other Internet activities. Teaching today’s children how to manage multiple sources of information and potential distractions is a critical life skill, one best learned before heading off to college or the workplace.
There are some iPad applications (such as Parent TimeLock) that allow you to place time limits on the devices. You can search the App Store to find one that suits your needs.
The iPad has some Restriction Settings that you can take advantage of to limit access to applications and services, such as Safari (web browsing), content filtering, and access to Twitter and Facebook. You can also lock the iPad to a single application, such as iBooks, so they can read books, but not surf the web or play games for example. Click here to learn more about iPad Restrictions.
Put the iPad to Bed, But Not in the Bedroom
Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to iPads, in a common family room overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your child to sleep with the iPad. You may also want to consider installing the iPad's charger in your bedroom instead of a room that your child has access to.