I won’t take any risks with my kids’ safety

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

Car­ing­bah mum-of-three Kristin Lan­g­ley mon­i­tors her chil­dren’s use of all de­vices in the home us­ing the Fam­ily Zone pro­gram. She says: The main thing we de­cided to do as a fam­ily was set up a sec­ond router that was for the chil­dren’s use only. We had the Fam­ily Zone pro­gram in­stalled on it be­cause it helps you es­tab­lish a se­cure and safe on­line pres­ence and it also helps you set time lim­its for screen time.

We moved to Aus­tralia from the US a few years ago be­cause we didn’t want to have kids raised in front of the tele­vi­sion. My el­dest daugh­ter, Olivia, is 13 and she has a smart phone but she doesn’t yet have a so­cial me­dia pres­ence. Luck­ily, she hasn’t kicked up a stink about that yet. When she turned 13, in­stead of wish­ing her a happy birth­day peo­ple would ask, ‘When are you join­ing Face­book?’ I know she will want it one day, but while I can keep her off it, I will.

When I was a kid you could come home and be safe and have 12 hours off from school and kids. But with so­cial me­dia now, there’s no es­cape and that’s scary.

When she got a phone I told her, ‘This is my phone but you can use it,’ and I told her I needed to know her pass­word and would be check­ing her mes­sages. And I check her Macbook emails as well. This may sound strict but I won’t take any risks with my chil­dren’s safe safety.

T The Fam­ily Zone pro­gram is great be­cause you can set it up dif­fer­ently for each child. So, my e el­dest has more flex­i­bil­ity than my fiveyea year-old, who I just have to make sure do doesn’t watch too many Minecraft videos o on You Tube.

At the end of the day these pro­grams are great be­cause it helps take the bat­tle out of mon­i­tor­ing screen time, but it re­ally comes down to good, old-fash­ioned par­ent­ing. I agree chil­dren need pri­vacy, b but that comes with age. At the age of 13 I d don’t think they al­ways have the ca­pac­ity to make the right de­ci­sions for them­selves.

T The most im­por­tant thing for us as a fam fam­ily is keep­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion open.

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