The Benefits of Parental Controls

Although cell phones and tablets can be good sources of entertainment when used wisely, taking measures to protect the integrity of children is crucial
The Benefits of Parental Controls

Last update: 26 April, 2023

Times have changed and are far from the children’s games of just a couple of decades ago. With the rise of platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, more and more children remain online, subject to the potential dangers hidden behind social media. That’s why we’ll explain some of the major benefits of parental controls.

Parents face increasing challenges in educating their children digitally and protecting their online safety. With easy access to mobile devices, more and more children are on social media, exposed to various risks. A new study shows that some children as young as four spend around 21 minutes a day on social media. This is where parental control applications can be great allies to protect the little ones.

Why are parental controls necessary?

We live in a hyper-connected digital age where children start accessing technology and social networks earlier and earlier. However, despite all the advantages of such platforms (such as contact with friends, learning, and entertainment), it’s crucial that, as parents, we protect the safety of our children to avoid problems that threaten their welfare.

A child receiving information from the internet.
There are many parental control applications on the market with multiple features.

A study published in the journal Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine reported that among the main risks faced by children and adolescents on the Internet are bullying, exposed privacy, and access to pornographic and violent content. These are situations that jeopardize not only their innocence but also their own safety and integrity.

Due to the above, using parental applications that allow controlling children’s access to certain online content and limiting the time they spend on the internet is an excellent idea. In addition, these tools can also allow you to monitor your children’s behavior and receive alerts regarding inappropriate activities.

There are several types of parental controls, but their features include content filters, time limits, privacy controls, and online activity monitoring. Each of these tools has its own set of features that allow parents to customize the use of phones, tablets, computers, and TVs according to their family’s needs.

5 benefits of parental controls for children

Taking care of our children’s innocence, safety, and health is a daily task for all parents. And by taking advantage of the benefits of parental control applications, we can establish a stronger and more trusting relationship with our children on issues related to technology while at the same time teaching them to use it responsibly and safely.

These are the main benefits of parental controls.

1. Limited screen time

Research led by professionals from the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical University of Vienna suggested that when children and adolescents have problematic smartphone use, it may be a sign of low self-esteem and poor self-control.

Installing parental apps on digital devices that children can access helps decrease the hours spent online and thereby prevent internet addiction. This can also improve sleep quality and reduce visual and physical fatigue associated with prolonged smartphone use.

2. Protection against inappropriate content

The Internet is full of information that children aren’t yet prepared for, as well as bad people who may take advantage of their naivety. As a result, parental controls can block access to age-inappropriate websites and content. This helps protect little ones from sexually explicit and violent material.

A boy covering a girl's eyes while they look at a laptop.
It’s crucial not to expose children to bad content that could affect them in the future.

In addition, some parental applications can filter search results and remove harmful content automatically, which helps protect children from accidentally viewing things that could lead to trauma or misbehavior.

3. The prevention of bullying and cyberbullying

Despite the fact that the minimum age to create social media is 13, many children lie on the platforms and create their profiles regardless of the potential risks. By installing parental controls on their phones or tablets, parents can monitor their online interactions and watch out for suspicious messages from third parties.

4. Parents can keep an eye on children’s online behavior

Another great advantage of these types of filters is that they allow parents to keep an eye on their children’s online activity, observe their search history, and receive alerts about inappropriate actions. This allows them to intervene before a problem occurs and talk to the children about why they shouldn’t access certain sites.

5. Foster communication and trust between parents and children

By involving children in the process and educating them about the importance of online safety, parents can establish a stronger and more trusting relationship with their children on issues related to technology. In addition, they allow us to warn children about the precautions they should take in order to use the Internet safely.

Parental controls are necessary to take care of children

In the digital era, it’s crucial to take preventive measures to avoid mishaps that endanger the welfare of children. That’s why, if your young children have access to mobile devices to play or interact on social media, it’s important that you download a parental control application to be aware of any strange movement that may compromise their innocence or integrity.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fischer-Grote L, Kothgassner OD, Felnhofer A. (2019). Risk factors for problematic smartphone use in children and adolescents: a review of existing literature. Neuropsychiatr. 2019 Dec;33(4):179-190. doi: 10.1007/s40211-019-00319-8. Epub 2019 Sep 6. PMID: 31493233; PMCID: PMC6901427.
  • Kliesener T, Meigen C, Kiess W, Poulain T. (2022). Associations between problematic smartphone use and behavioural difficulties, quality of life, and school performance among children and adolescents. BMC Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 18;22(1):195. doi: 10.1186/s12888-022-03815-4. PMID: 35300635; PMCID: PMC8932112.
  • Jeong H, Yim HW, Lee SY, Lee HK, Potenza MN, Lee H. (2021). Factors associated with severity, incidence or persistence of internet gaming disorder in children and adolescents: a 2-year longitudinal study. Addiction. 2021 Jul;116(7):1828-1838. doi: 10.1111/add.15366. Epub 2021 Jan 28. PMID: 33283397.
  • Leung, L. (2014). Predicting Internet risks: a longitudinal panel study of gratifications- sought, Internet addiction symptoms, and social media use among children and adolescents. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. Volume 2, 2014 - Issue 1. Pages 424-439.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.