Disclaimer: Los Tweens attended a product demo and has been offered a tablet for review use. All opinions expressed are our own.
We talk over and over again about how difficult it is to parent in the age of technology. There is nothing easy about parenting a generation of children who don’t know what it’s like to not be surrounded by cell phones, tablets and computers. But when the technology that is giving you the headaches offers you ways to parent better, you pause and take notice.
During a recent product demo, Kristina from Windows shared with myself and amiga Astrid from Latinblah how Windows 8.1 is flipping the script. I was thrilled to find out that many of my parenting woes with our family tablet are solved! Here are my problems and the solutions:
We have one account across multiple devices and my children are constantly fighting about which app belongs to them. For instance, on the tablet there are three separate folders for each child that contains age and interest appropriate games. But, when the latest and coolest game is released and both my tweens want to play it, whose folder does it go in to. And the fighting that occurs if one child goes into another’s game and loses is embarrassing.
- How Window’s 8.1 solves this: Windows 8.1 allows parents to create multiple accounts with separate log-ins and passwords for each child. Each account has it’s own set of games, downloads and preferences. Also, by picking the child setting restrictions are placed on options such as purchasing apps and searching questionable content.
Setting time limits on screen usage and then having to play time cop to enforce it. We have strict limits on screen time in my house but I find them difficult to enforce. It’s impossible for me to follow each of them around logging their hours.
- How Windows 8.1 solves this: As you go along setting up those accounts for each child, you’ll be asked if you want to creat time restrictions. (Yes! Yes! And more YES!) Windows 8.1 gives you the ability to look at each day of the week and set a the amount of hours allotted to that account per day. So say your child is allowed 1 hour Monday through Thursday and 3 hours Friday through Sunday. Children are instructed when they are getting close to their time limits and are then locked out once they are reached. No need for you to say “times up!”, let the device do it!
There’s no way I can monitor what they are doing online ALL of the time. Three children, a desktop, laptop, tablet and cell phone…it’s physically impossible for me to watch over their children all of the time and on every device.
- How Windows 8.1 solves this: Monthly/weekly/daily emails containing a summary of the web sites your child’s visited, the time they spent on each device, their top Bing searches and more keep you up to date on EXACTLY what is going on. The ability to not have to watch over my child’s shoulder but still be able to monitor what they are doing gives me piece of mind. It also allows me to step in when there is a problem. Clearly there’s a parent over there at Microsoft.
Check out these directions and the video on setting up “Family Safety” in Windows 8.
What other technology problems have you encountered with your tween? Leave your problem in the comments and we’ll try to find an answer!