Monitor the Use of Your Child’s iPad

Screen Time

Screen Time is a feature launched in 2018 in iOS 12. It records the amount of time a user spends on apps or websites. Screen Time also provides blocking features to limit the usage of apps or set restrictions.

1. Turn on Screen Time directly on a device

There are two ways you can set up Screen Time controls. This is the first one.

2. Turn on Screen Time through Family Sharing

But in my opinion, if you already possess your own iPad or iPhone, the best option is to first create an Apple ID for your child. To do that, you need Family Sharing 1. This is the second method to set up Screen Time.

How to use Screen Time

  1. Downtime
  2. App Limits
  3. Communication Limits
  4. Always allowed
  5. Content & Privacy Restrictions

1. Downtime

Scheduling downtime means that it’s time to go to bed or do something else away from the screen. During downtime, if your child tries to use the iPad, he or she gets a message informing that it’s scheduled downtime. If your child tries to access their device during downtime, they can request more time from you.

2. App Limits

Set the amount of time per day that you want your child to spend on certain categories of apps (Games, Entertainment, Productivity, Social Networking, etc.).

3. Communication Limits

You can set communication limits which only apply to Phone, FaceTime, Messages and iCloud contacts. So you can control who your children can communicate with. This can be with everyone or with people in your contacts.

4. Always Allowed

Specific apps, even if it’s downtime or if you set the All Apps & Categories app limit, are always available. This could be Messages or FaceTime and, of course, Phone so that your child we’ll be able to reach you no matter what.

5. Content & Privacy Restrictions

We use a Mobile Device Management to create and install configuration profiles which means that, thanks to these profiles, some apps are blacklisted, some words or some websites are forbidden.

Cut off your Wi-Fi network

There are simple things to do to prevent your children from using their iPad late at night. You can simply ask them to turn off their device at say 9 pm. Even ask them to put it in a box outside their bedroom for the night.

Educate

We saw in the two previous sections of this article that you can prevent your child from doing this or that but, instead of blocking apps or websites, the best option is probably to educate your children and explain what they should and shouldn’t do.

  1. To learn more about Family Sharing, visit this page. ↩︎

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Yann Houry

Yann Houry

Teacher and Director of Academic Research & Innovation @ Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill