Have you ever wanted to switch off your child’s internet or restrict what they can access on their device? If, like me, the answer is yes you will be interested in Home Halo which launched today. You may also appreciate knowing that you are not alone in thinking like this and according to research by HomeHalo more than 8 million arguments take place everyday in the home over technology usage. With 2.1 million UK households containing eight or more devices that are accessible in the home you may have decided that it is time to take back some control. HomeHalo is the brainchild of parents who realised that their son was online at all hours and they wanted a way to restrict this without impacting on the whole family. After several years in the making HomeHalo is now available for all parents, and it is at accessible price point. You simply buy a wireless smart router (for £35) that works with your existing broadband and download a free app.
The app allows you to name each device in the house and then you sent the controls you want to each device. Therefore if I decide that Erin can only access the internet until 6pm on her Ipad at 6pm it simply disconnects itself. There are also controls on the type of content that is available. Social media or online shopping can easily be disabled. To me this is a great tool to help our young people become responsible about their online time and behaviour. This technology is here to stay and we as parents need to teach our children how to use it is a positive way and get that balance between an online and offline life.
This would be something that I would certainly use with Erin who is very much used to the iPad on demand. I like that it simply stops working at the time I have decided and she will quickly learn from this. If I choose to extend her time because maybe we are using a story time app or doing her Maths Challenge I can do this at the touch of a button.
The advantages of this are numerous.
- Erin can get cross when I take the Ipad off her this way she will quickly learn when it is available and not available.
- The second is that I like the children to have some down time before bed. It is tempting to keep playing games or watching YouTube clips but as part of the bed time routine I want them to be able to wind down and relax. This ensures that they switch off before getting into bed and will enable them to have a better and more restful sleep.
- Likewise for my 11 year old, if it goes off at 8.30 pm I know that he will not be distracted by it because it is not working until he wakes in the morning. As he begins to use social media more this will help him mange his time online.
What you need to know.
The wireless box costs £35, but is on offer at the moment for £25.
There is a £3 monthly charge for the service, which is on a rolling subscription to you are not tied in for any length of time.
This does not work with 3G devices as they are not using the router for internet access. Therefore it is best suited to children until the age of about 11/12.
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