A few weeks ago we heard about the supposed hoax “Momo” that started with a Twitter post.
This scary character allegedly provides children with instructions on how to hurt themselves (commit suicide) and how to hurt others. Now I know it is now being labeled as a recurring hoax, but it is still disturbing as hell!
Hoax or not, BLOCK THEIR ACCESS!
Hubby and I have always been very selective as to what our daughter is allowed to watch. She loves YouTube Kids and for the most part, I’m cool with it. However, I’m not down with the grown folks playing doll house. So, I BLOCKED IT!
We did it through the parental control settings on YouTube Kids. Many parents don’t realize that parental controls exist on almost all kid entertainment programs, games, etc. Although it exists, it is up to us to put it to use.
When word came out that porn was being infiltrated into YouTube Kids in the form of child-friendly characters, I decided that it was time to become that block-happy parent.
I knew I achieved my goal when she turned on the living room TV, went to her profile on Netflix, and clicked on one of her fave shows – Bunk’d. (Her dad and I just feel that it isn’t age-appropriate.🤷🏾♀️)
That’s right baby! Mommy and Daddy took some time out last night to go through all of the shows and select the ones we think are age-appropriate for you.
Her Reaction: Head sinks as she mumbles under her breath and walks away.
My Reaction: She’ll live! Laugh as I walk away and give Daddy a High Five! 💪🏾🙌🏾
This is a lesson I had to teach myself early. As much as I want to be the cool mom that my daughter can relate to and tell her innermost secrets, her protection matters more to me than being wavy. (I think I used that in the right context 🤷🏾♀️🤦🏾♀️)
This morning, she wanted to watch one of her fave shows, but I CAN’T STAND PEPPA PIG! Say what you want, but that little pig is a spoiled and rude brat. So I told her – Nope! Not in this house. 🙅🏾♀️
It may seem like I’m nitpicking – well, YES I AM! Kids are easily manipulated and pick up on little things that soon become habits. When my daughter started watching YouTube Kids, she started developing a habit of taking lotion, water, and all kinds of stuff like my EXPENSIVE FACIAL CREAMS and making all sorts of weird concoctions with them.
When I realized where the source of the craziness came from, I blocked it all! As she gets older, I have become even more selective of what she has access to. I installed Kidslox on her tablet and on my phone. Through Kidslox, I am able to block certain games, and internet usage, set a weekly schedule that limits the amount of time she has to use her tablet per day, and I even set up a bedtime schedule that locks the tablet down at 8 p.m. My favorite feature is that when it locks down, all of her games and entertainment apps disappear.
I remember the first time it locked down on her, she bought the tablet for us and said “Mommy, something is wrong with my tablet.” That’s when she learned it cuts out at bedtime. 🙌🏾
As parents, we need to become more informed about the things our children have access to. Using the excuse – Well, I’m just not that tech savvy – no longer flies. If you can search on Google or scroll through Instagram, you can make it a priority to protect your child from being exposed to inappropriate material. If you just can’t do it yourself, ask a friend. Better yet, take it to one of the millennials at your church and tell them what you want done. Don’t just do nothing!
Today’s generation is brighter than we give them credit for and while we see them as innocent children, predators see them as prey. Make sure your child is not their next target.
Block Game Chat Features – Listen, as far as I am concerned, my daughter doesn’t need to be chatting online with anyone – PERIOD! If she wants to talk to one of her approved friends, her dad and I have phones and we would be happy to dial the number for her. Many of the games our kids love to play also include chatting. What many parents don’t know is if you go to the settings, you can turn off chat. One of my daughter’s fave game apps is Roblox. I’m not too comfortable with it so I deleted it (for now). However, if you allow your child to play games via Roblox, you can also turn off the chat feature using the instructions found here.
My rule of thumb is if I can’t turn off the chat feature, she can’t play the game unless a responsible adult is right next to her the whole time.
Restrict YouTube Kids – Just because YouTube thinks it is kid-friendly doesn’t mean it is. Access YouTube Kids and take a look at the videos that your child recently watched. If it doesn’t sit right with you, block it! I even went as far as turning off the search option on YouTube Kids. When she wants to watch a video that she has to search for, she comes to Mommy or Daddy. You can learn how to set up Parental Controls on YouTube here.
Restrict Netflix – Netflix is a family fave for us. We each have our own profiles – even the baby. 🤪 However, not everything that is kid-friendly is suitable for my little munchkin. You can also apply parental controls on Netflix which prompts viewers to enter a code in order to view content that has been restricted. Once we set up restrictions, her dad and I kept the code to ourselves. So when Missy tried to be slick and go to her grandparents’ apartment upstairs and watch Netflix, it still prompted them for a code. What she didn’t know was that they didn’t have the code either. HA! Nice try little one! 🙅🏾♀️
Set up a Kidslox account or Parental Control App – There are lots of these apps out there. I use Kidslox because honestly, when I saw that it was downloaded over 10,000 times, I knew I had a winner. I love the capability to set weekly schedules that limit her use, block the internet, etc. I love even more that if she acts up and I want to lockdown her access on the spot, I can do so. Don’t mess with this mama! 💪🏾💅🏾
These are just a few of the steps you can take today to protect your child from technology threats. There is a lot of information out there if you take the time to do some research. Because I’m such an awesome mama friend, I included a link to Google search results for security settings for kids. Thank me later! Better yet, share this article with your mama friends, and let us protect all of our babies.
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. No payment has been received for any of the tips, apps, or links provided in this article.