picture of children online gaming

How to Block Your Child's Access to Online Gaming Without Becoming an IT Professional

If your kids are old enough to surf the internet, it’s natural that you might worry about the amount of time they spend playing video games instead of doing something more social with their friends. But trying to set up parental locks and restrictions on your kids’ devices, or block them from the internet entirely, can be an absolute nightmare if you’re not a tech whizz. 

Luckily Marin Cristian-Ovidiu, CEO of OnlineGames.io, has broken down the process of blocking your child’s access to online gaming in a way that you can easily understand - without having to get a degree in technology. 

Cut Off the WIFI Connection

Parents can immediately stop their children from using any internet-connected device by simply turning off the Wi-Fi connection in the house. To do this, just pull the plug on your Wi-Fi router. This will work wonders on tablets and consoles, which require Wi-Fi to access the internet as they have no option to use data. Mobile phones can use data to access the internet, but playing games online this way is often unattractive because of the slow connection, meaning your kid is much more likely to give up and go to bed.

Enlist Screen Time Restrictions

Many devices these days have a feature in their settings that allows you to set up certain time limits for using the device. Marin notes, ‘The screen time feature on an iPhone can help you take control of what apps your kids can use and when. All you have to do to turn on this feature is go to the settings app on your child’s iPhone and search for ‘App limits’ at the top. From there, you can set time limits on any apps on their iPhone.’ 

If you don’t have Apple products, then Marin says, ‘Google’s Family Link app can serve a similar role for Android users.’

Enable Parental Controls

Similar to setting time restrictions, you as the parent can also control what your kids have access to online. With various family safety apps, you can ‘monitor your child’s mobile device, block or restrict access to specific sites and apps, set time limits on games and apps, or completely turn off internet access,’ says Marin. As well as preventing your children from being contacted by bad actors and scammers on the web, this also means you can block their access to certain online games when it’s past their bedtime. Each family safety app will have a guide that will walk you through the process of setting up these restrictions.

If In Doubt, Confiscate

One of the simplest ways to stop your children from accessing the internet is just by taking away the device they use to do so. While this may engender whining and protests, remind them that if they had been using their device responsibly, it wouldn’t have been taken away. Devices like phones, tablets, and handheld consoles like the Switch are easy to confiscate; if your child is constantly staying up too late on a console that’s hard to move like a Playstation, an easy option is to confiscate the power cord rather than trying to move the whole set-up.

Talk to Your Child 

However, one of the most long-lasting and impactful ways you can change your child’s behaviour is simply by clearly and openly explaining the health risks that come with spending too much time cooped up inside playing video games. As Marin says, ‘This may not be a physical way of blocking them from using online games, but it will help them make educated decisions of their own - and if they feel like they’re the ones in control, those decisions are more likely to stick.’

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