How do you control and monitor Internet usage? 32

Screen time, is it a big issue in your home?  I try to prevent it being one in ours by having strict rules that we stick to, but it doesn’t stop me being concerned with that the boys can or might see on the internet.  I have a free printable screen rules download for you.

ScreenTime square

We have been trialing OurPact, which is a breakthrough parental control app which can be used to help teach children proper device use and responsibility.     I have synced our iPads, iPhones, and the boys iPod Touch’s to OurPact, which has given me the power to manage my family’s device use under one platform.

I have been using OurPact in conjunction with our family rules and also to ensure that I can set time limits on app and internet usage.  I have talked about the fact that I want the boys to not just turn to screens as a first response when they are bored and I know they have a place in our lives, but I feel that as a parent it is my responsibility to ensure that boundaries are set and adhered too.

We have firm rules when it comes to technology usage that are non negotiable, the main ones being no screens after 6pm, no screens in the bedroom and also no screens at the dining table.

I also acknowledge that having screen free time makes me a more accountable parent.

If you are looking at ways to reduce screen time, then take a look at my four top tips for limiting screen time.


Download your Screen Rules printable


Just click on the ScreenTime link and you can download a pdf version of the screen rules poster to print out for your home.


Controlling internet usage with OurPact

Who else worries about internet access, screen time and technology with our kids?  I feel like I am learning as I go along, as it wasn’t an issue when I was a child, heck the internet didn’t exist when I was my boys age! I am not saying that my way is the right way and everyone has to do what they feel is right for their family.  All I aim for is balance.  I hope that as my boys grow into teenagers that we can still have a balance, but at the moment I want to control and monitor internet usage.


We have been using OurPact for a couple of weeks now and it is really great for us as a family.  It is really simple to set up and at the moment.  I have it set to block internet from 6pm on an evening in line with our rules.  I have it also set so that the boys can have a limit of an hours access.  OurPact is set to give them a five minute warning of their time coming to an end.  Even better OurPact is free and coming to android too.

Before we implemented OurPack, I sat down and explained to the boys what I was doing and why.  I really believe that having conversations about what we do online on a regular basis.   I actually love the OurPact Family Contract and you can download yours by clicking on the link.

ourpact contract

OurPact gives Parents the power to:

– Block children’s Internet across all synced Apple devices
– Block children’s Apps across all synced Apple Devices
– Schedule Internet and App use according to your child’s daily routine
– Set a limit to the number of hours your children spend on the Internet and within Apps
– Block Internet and Apps at-a-touch
– Allow Website and App access, whenever you feel your child “needs more time”
– Block All Apps: Block Facebook, Block SnapChat, Block Instagram, Block Twitter, etc.

For me it means that I can reinforce our rules, without physically removing the device.  I can implement punishment (if that involved no internet or devise time) in a simple manner.  There is no more whining or can I just finish this from the boys.

Controlling and monitoring kids internet access


32 thoughts on “How do you control and monitor Internet usage?


    It’s great that you set these groundrules – I especially like the one about no screens at dinner. I’m guilty of this myself, and I wonder what example I might be setting to my 5 and 3 year olds. Time to ditch the mealtime screen, methinks!

  • Anne

    Never mind the kids, I need a set of rules for the husband!! It’s a really good idea though. I know when my older kids where young we had strict rules, but then we didn’t have mobile internet back then, or laptops, just one PC. I particularly dislike screens in the bedroom, although the older two have them now (but they are in their 20s)

  • mellissa williams

    Those screen rules are a great idea. Unfortunately it is harder to enforce when they turn 18. I encourage my son to get off his computer and have a walk and spend time out of his room as he would be in there all day.

  • Carly Markham

    My kids are only just using tablets but tbh they only play for a short time as they get bored easily! I think I am the one who spends too much time online! Sounds like a great app. Shame it isn’t on android yet as we have mostly android devices

  • Michelle

    We are endeavouring to have less screen time – but finding it quite hard – we’re all addicted in this house. I’m glad these gadgets were not around when my teen was a youngster, it would have driven me barmy.

  • Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours

    Love this! My twins are obsessed but I do monitor what they are doing on their tablets. They would literally sit and play on them all day if they could but they will put them down when they’re told. I do worry about you tube though. Will look into this thanks

  • Erica Price

    We have rules about times too. Not so much about when not to, but more about when is ok. My son would use his a lot more if he had the choice.

  • Michelle

    This app sounds fantastic, I’ll definitely be using it or something similar when my boy is a bit older, same goes for the screen rules!

  • Ryan Costello

    It is a concern protecting them online, you’re right. Even more so than the actual amount of screen time they get. The free printable is great. It’s worded so that all parties can see benefits from sticking to it.

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure

    I think it is the bloke and I that are the worst, but I know my boys are being brought up in a world where technology is everywhere and we will be looking into this more once they get gadgets of their own

  • JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    This app is a great way to open up this kind of conversation with your kids. We also have screen time rules at home, including the ability for me to do a check on my daughter’s iPhone whenever I ask to check what apps she’s using. I was at an internet safety conference on Friday and it’s frightening that there is a simple calculator app out there which allows the user access to a private contact directory and internet browser that doesn’t show up in the main settings so someone could have completely private and unrestricted access to the net without anyone knowing what they are up to. If I learned one thing – it’s don’t let your kids have a paid for calculator app. The free one that comes with the phone does all a calculator needs to do. However the really scary thing is that it’s probably not our kids who are downloading this app.

  • Kara

    We have constant battles with the teen over screen time – he thinks nothing off coming off a console to then sit on his phone playing games given half a chance

  • Sonia

    I’m not too concerned about the little ones as I can easily control their screen time, it’s when they get to young adults that worries me, All they seem to do nowadays is play on their phones/facebook etc and I think they are missing out on so much life with their internet addictions.

  • Fozia S

    Thank you for sharing this. I have a 9 year old who is starting to the computer at home so I have been thinking about all this. Will check out the app.

  • Sarah Ebner

    I think having rules about screen usage is vital, but like you I also feel that I’m learning as we go along and it gets hard when they get older and need to work on a computer etc. Your rules do seem really good though – and sensible.

  • Joanne

    We are still new to using iPads and computer games, so we are quite strict. I like the download. Moo sometimes plays skylanders in his room and I must admit on I assign I’ve forgotten what he was doing and he’s played a bit too long!

  • sam fernley

    Really good to know about this app, I think I need it for myself as I am the worst offender. My son uses his iPad as a visual communication aid so I have to be quite lenient with him but he seems to keep himself in check and all summer won’t bother with his tablet at all.

  • Ninjacat

    Your post is fantastic . I think I could do with less screen time myself as well.

  • Mums do travel

    You make some very good points here and I agree that it’s important to restrict children’s screen time. I’ve found that it gets harder when they go to Secondary school though as most of their homework involves internet access.

  • Sonya Cisco

    Obvs with my youngest I am in charge – but with my older two it is trickier – the eldest is nearly 19, so of course it is up to her what she chooses to do with her time! My middle one is trickier – as he uses screens for a really wide variety of activities – he writes stories on my laptop, he builds his own video games, creates artwork, plays video games, watches youtube. Some of these have more educational value than others of course! Rather than setting a strict limit to screen hours, with him it is more about monitoring what he is doing, as more time writing stories, less time playing games is my preference!

  • Rachel

    You make some good points here and I am always telling my nephew to leave the iPad alone and go outside instead of sitting on the sofa watching a film or something on Youtube x

  • Michelle Twin Mum

    So important to have some boundaries in place to ensure the kids get the right balance of screen and other play. We have both Apple and Android devices so not sure how this would work. Mich x

  • Kara

    I love the idea of this app. We are really strict with the little ones but it is much harder to monitor with the teens

  • Globalmouse

    I love the sound of this app and am downloading it this evening. We’ve always limited the kid’s access but I really like the idea of this giving them a warning when their time is running out etc….Thank you!

  • mama syder

    This looks fab. I don’t really need to worry about internet usage now mine are older, but it was difficult when they were all young. I remember the days of only one PC in the house and having to set a timer so that everyone could get their turn.

  • Charly Dove

    This sounds brilliant Jen and how great to be able to monitor screen time. POD loves TV and while she doesn’t see too much of it, I’m sure this app will be invaluable for us too in the future. Great post x

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