Almost everyone I speak to still have their kids “connected” up to and often after they get to bed at night. So, no… it probably isn’t reasonable or even justified when you think about your kids. It probably is time to think about rules and technology assists, but before that, let me tell you how this became a necessity for me.
There was an occasion when I noticed my youngest son was not sleeping very well and I could hear him tossing and turning into the early morning hours. I assumed it was just a bad sleep week, until I found his iPhone hidden under his pillow. Being the “dad from hell”, I do know their device passwords (it’s a condition of use here), so proceeded to investigate.
It seemed he had been Skyping with complete strangers all around the world, that he had met through playing Minecraft. That on its own would have been enough, but most of these were not kids and too much conversation had been had for my liking.
I made sure there was nothing in those conversations to be alarmed about, blocked those users that warranted it, made sure chat logs were kept forever and then invoked an Acceptable Use Device Policy for home. With that, I also started to use technology to assist in managing those little indiscretions.
Most parents do not realise that the home gateway device, that connects your to your broadband provider, very often has parental controls within it. In my case, I have a scheduler that can be used to restrict particular devices within the home network from having access to the Internet between certain times.
With this in place, the kids can use their PCs, iPhones or tablets, but can only get connected to the outside world within reasonable hours (or with parental exception). This works a treat, and reinforces the home use policy, removing almost all of that debate and whining… (well, most of it)
Remember, you need to make sure you manage your family access and tools, so make sure you learn about the safety settings you can use to make your life easier and safer.