Managing kids’ online time and activity can feel like a constant struggle for parents and caregivers.
You want them to have the freedom to explore and follow their curiosity – but you also need to keep them safe.
In the Pandey family, the parents felt their kids, 12 and 16, were spending too much time online. Despite requests and reminders to put their devices away, the kids had a hard time stopping, and their parents felt it was cutting into homework and quality time with family.
Their father, Ankur Pandey, sought help with this challenge, wanting to keep them safe and encourage them to establish healthy routines. “I wanted to lay some ground rules at home on how and when the internet should be used.”
So he put some guardrails around their screen time, such as no internet between 8 PM and 6 AM. To help them make healthy choices, he installed
“I’ve been using it to keep the kids on track at home and it’s been a very easy and effective tool,” he says. Now, the Pandey kids don’t need reminding to get off their devices. The mesh Wi-Fi automatically disconnects when it’s time for them to get off their screens – all without any reminding needed from mom and dad.
Unlike a traditional single router that has relatively limited coverage, a mesh network system is made up of multiple access points. That lessens the load on a single source, and the combination of access points can help reduce “dead zones” that have no Wi-Fi coverage.1
Families and caregivers can use
The pandemic taught a lot of families about the limitations of bandwidth: It turns out that you can’t always have smooth internet connectivity when one member of your household is on a video call, another is playing a video game, and still others are streaming music or attending virtual school.
Families can use Wi-Fi settings to allocate bandwidth by prioritizing certain devices over others. During caregivers’ work hours, for example, the kids might need to settle for less bandwidth for video games, or those devices might be prevented from getting on the network at all. At other times, a family might decide to prioritize screen time over work time (to help parents develop healthy habits around work hours).
If a family wants to set some parameters on app content, they can use the
At the end of the day, many parents simply want their kids to spend less time looking at screens. Parents like Pandey adjust settings so that certain devices are cut off from Wi-Fi after a set amount of time (say, three hours a day) or during specific hours. If they want the entire family to put down their devices, they can use
A mesh Wi-Fi system may not solve all problems with kids’ online activity. But when paired with good conversations about healthy habits, it will go a long way to help support those goals.
Home size, materials, and layout can affect how a Wi-Fi signal travels. Larger homes or homes with thicker walls or long, narrow layouts may need extra Wifi points for full coverage. Strength and speed of signal will also depend on your internet provider.