In the midst of all things pandemic, has anyone else started to feel like Tom Hanks in Cast Away? Like you’ve been stranded on an island for 4 years while having to forage for food, with only a name-brand volleyball for company? Since April it has felt like the loneliness has been slowly but surely closing in on me and there have been times when I’ve been certain I won’t last much longer. Quarantine has induced its own sort of island madness.
Okay, okay…so that’s all a bit dramatic. It hasn’t really been all that extreme, if we’re being honest. Yes, our family has been cooped up more than we’re used to and yes, we’ve taken precautions to prevent the spreading of germs but between myself, my husband and our kiddos, we’ve all managed to co-exist with out sanity intact while waiting for things to settle down. Passing the time in quarantine was more manageable by utilizing the time to catch up as a family and bond in ways we’d previously neglected.
Lockdown has seen us cooking meals together, playing old board games that had been collecting dust, indulging in backyard games, etc. On the downside, it led to an increase in something that we had worked hard and long to limit, screen time. Unfortunately, there are only so many ways to keep little ones entertained. Pretty soon, after about the millionth gripe of, “I’m soooo bored” you find yourself breaking down and giving in to even a half hour of time on a game console, tablet or computer.
As parents we aren’t what you would call screen time screen time freaks, however, we do monitor what our kids are getting into. Social media platforms that appeal to younger audiences are filled with potentially deadly consequences such as encouragement of self-harm, pedophiles, sex trafficking and much more. Chat rooms, online video games, cell phone apps. All of these things that were once innocent have now become breeding grounds for unsavory content.
Early on when the little ones were first becoming interested in tech gadgets, my husband and I agreed that we needed to closely watch what they have access to. We implemented time limits, turned on parental controls. Then we realized they weren’t guaranteed to keep unsavory content from being accessed, even on accident. I found out the hard way that parental controls weren’t fool proof when I made a one character error on a search and ended up on a site that mortified even me.
We like to test out new resources as often as we can to keep current on what options are out there in terms of keeping our kids safe from unmonitored screen time. Recently we were approached by FAMfriendly.com, a site that exclusively offers parents and caregivers endless resources to help protect kids from the hidden dangers of things like the internet, apps, games and more.
FAMfriendly.com makes it so easy to wade through the waters of confusion when it comes to keeping our families safe. They offer tips on everything from setting timers, to how to block content and even recommendations on programs that will aid parents in choosing what works best for their needs. I’ve been to so many sites in the past, looking for the best tips and recommendations but FAMfriendly.com has beaten them all, hands down. I never have to leave their website, they have the resources compiled in one place to make the overwhelming factor less stressful for us parents.
For those who aren’t as much into internet usages or app stores, they even have an individual section for television programming. This particular section covers TV parental Controls, TV Ratings and how to translate them, Family Friendly Programming and much more. This group of resources made me realize that the whole time I was worrying more about internet safety, I hadn’t paid due diligence to our television viewing. Some of the popular shows that our kids had been watching weren’t as wholesome as I thought. They weren’t terrible but upon looking more closely, it was a little shocking some of the language, jokes and values.
During my partnership with FAMfriendly.com I went ahead and bookmarked their page for future use. I’ve learned so many new tidbits from their compilation of resources and recommend that if you’re looking for tips on how to keep your family safe from outside sources, that you head over to their page and see for yourself what they have to offer. Their articles and videos contain so much useful information, you’ll be kicking yourself for not discovering them sooner!
*This is a partnered post. All opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*