My Mom used to always say, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” As a teenager, I would roll my eyes to the back of my head, as teenagers do. Now that I’M the Mom, I can see the value in the statement. When you are out late at night, most stores and restaurants are closed for the evening, and there isn’t much to do that won’t get you into trouble. The same can be said for what goes on inside your house as well. When everyone else is asleep, bad things can happen, including cyberbullying, viewing pornography, and doing any number of things deemed inappropriate.
This is one reason many households put the internet to bed at a certain time every night. When the rest of the house is sleeping, no one needs to be browsing the internet, watching YouTube or using social media. When you are tired, the filter in your brain doesn’t work as well. You may just get talked into something you don’t want to participate in, or you could say something you seriously regret later.
The good news is there are a few easy ways to put the internet to sleep when the rest of the family is in bed. Parents might be able to get a few more hours of rest when they aren’t worrying about what is happening inside their home. When Parents get enough rest, it really just makes the entire house happier, so help your kids understand that putting the internet to bed will also help parents be a little nicer during the day.
Most wireless routers you can purchase now have settings that you can use to disable internet access during certain times of the day. They may be found under the parental controls for the router or within more advanced settings. To find the right solution for the router you use, just do a google search for the brand and model of your router and then “internet access timeframe” or “time schedule”. It should help point you in the right direction.
Mobile Data Settings
Once you have the wifi covered in your home, the smartphones in your home can always turn off wifi and still access the internet. Fortunately, the wireless carriers are also hip to the idea of giving the internet a bedtime. Many of the top carriers offer parental controls that allow you to manage time restrictions for devices on your account. Check with your own carrier to find how to set them.
Parental Control Apps
Using a parental control app like Boomerang is a really easy way to cover both the wifi and the mobile data networks. Through the app, you can disable the use of the phone completely during certain hours of the day, or just allow a select few apps to be used during the night like music apps to help fall asleep.
The great thing about using a parental control app is you can override the settings at any time. If you want to let your kids stay up a little longer one night, or you will be out and need them to have enough access to get a hold of you, you can easily change the time, or quickly allow access. Using the other methods it may be complicated to get it turned off for one night.
Turn In Devices
Finally, the low-tech way to give the internet a bedtime is to have a single charging station in your bedroom. You require all devices to be handed in before you go to sleep every night and they all charge as one big happy family. The main downside to this is if you are a heavy sleeper, you may not notice kids coming in to grab their devices in the middle of the night.