Technology and Kids - Setting Healthy Boundaries

Technology and Kids - Setting Healthy Boundaries

I wanted to address this topic. It constantly surprises me when I hear about how much access some kids have to technology, and I know that their wonderful and loving parents are just in the dark about how to deal with it. Sometimes they tend to give up before even starting, simply because they don’t know how to deal with it, or there is no formal instruction about when and how much is ok.

I want to give my personal experience, which is still evolving as my kids get older.

First of all. Content:

Whats the problem? Is it really a big deal if my kids are watching harmless kids shows?

Yes. 1000%. The movie industry isn’t there to provide wholesome educational content for our kids. Its literally to get them addicted to watching, so that they have an audience and can make more money. There’s plenty out there on the impact on little ones minds, Im not going to repeat whats so commonly said.
I do however want to address the Torah aspect.

When we learn Torah with a clear mind, our hearts and emunah open up to more Torah and more clarity. There are twisted notions, morals and information built into the content of even the most innocent looking movie. 
We are sending our children to good schools with good education, and then letting them watch kids shows literally just messes with their brains and not only undoes alot of that amazing work, it also wires them to think in a certain way.

I will tell you from experience. There is nothing kosher about even the cleanest non jewish movie. I even used to put on little einsteins for my kids when they were little until I noticed that my kids had such an attitude after watching. I sat down with them one time to try figure out why this is. And literally, the kids on the movie might be super smart but they did NOT have good middos.

But lets say, you only let your child watch jewish content. Amazing you are a step ahead! (I won’t go into some jewish movies that bother me but yeah I tend to psycho analyze everything but lets just say even with jewish stuff its not a free for all…)

Lets move on to limitations.

Setting time limits & sticking to them:

Remember this rule. Its always easy to give more than take away what you already gave.

Remember, your 10 year old will be 15 very soon. Your 5 year old will be 10 very soon. It happens quicker than you think! 
Training them with the attitude of, there is only 30 minutes of technology time a day, goes a LONG way when they are older. Believe me, I have tried it and it works.

Setting time limits from a young age will set you up for a much easier job when they are older.


Using technology to help us manage technology:

I have used a few types of technology to put limits on my kids screen time. 

First of all, you can and should go to Tag. I cannot say enough how important it is to have a good filter. But if you aren’t holding there yet… here’s things I used through the years. Plus even with every device tagged I still think the actual internet needs a filter in any home.

Circle by Disney: This filters your internet, it actually does a very good job. You can blacklist everything and whitelist only allowed websites. It filters your entire internet, so it does slow it down noticeably which bothered us alot. Especially when trying to work. You can also set time limits and profiles so that each child can have their internet shut off after a certain amount of time. This one actually filters the entire internet which makes it the best I saw out there.

Gryphon: This is what Im currently using. Its fast. Not cheap. But you can also black list everything and just whitelist the websites and apps you like. Also has the ability to shut down the internet with a click of a button. Keep in mind, this filter doesnt replace your internet. You’ll still have the regular internet, so if no one knows the password you should be good right? Wrong. One of my kids figured out the main internet password. And thats why tag is the best!


Devices with time limits:


fire kindle

android (family link)

these all have limits.

i did not like family link, it didnt block google. Im not interested in the non jewish standards of what kids can access on the internet.

the fire kindle was ok but limited on apps. If you get the plan for $3/month. Dont. I did not realize that they were going to have access to so much junk. I didnt mind if they watched something that I already watched and knew what was in it. This literally gave them access to so much.


apple is my favorite. I can limit specific apps by time. Its truly robust and it works. You have to make sure you set up all the settings correctly so your child cant change them. 

I have so much more to say on this topic but lets just leave it here. Would love to hear your thoughts! 

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