An essential role and drive of being a parent is the necessity to protect your kids, especially when you aren’t around to supervise their actions. One of the most prominent concerns of the modern age is online gaming and the effects video games have on adolescents, either in terms of content or their potentially addictive qualities. Luckily, parents can ease this concern with the help of parental controls.
Putting parental controls on a gaming PC is a simple, straightforward process, but it’s not a universal one. The steps you take depend on the type of gaming PC, although the most common operating system that would require gaming controls is Windows 10. You can also put parental controls on individual games, like Roblox, or use a parental control tool like Limit Launcher.
Read on to learn how to apply parental controls for Windows 10 gaming PC’s using Limit Launcher. Limit Launcher can stop computer gaming and be used to protect children from unapproved gaming content or limit their overall sessions and access. In this article, we will provide the step-by-step process for parental controls on popular games as well as exploring the possibilities of Limit Launcher.
Parental Control Tools: Why Are They Needed?
Technology is swiftly advancing to the point that computers are everyday tools in most children’s education. These devices are highly beneficial for research and learning, whether at home, school, or in a library, for everyday school assignments.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to fall down the virtual rabbit hole on a computer, especially a gaming PC. A child could easily “take a break” and open their favorite game then find they have been on a break for 3 hours and don’t have enough time to finish their homework before bed.
Parenting controls for computers will ensure that whenever a child is supposed to use this device for academic related tasks, they cannot do anything else without your consent. This eliminates the temptation to play games and helps promote productivity because the child knows once they are done, then they can play games with their parent’s permission.
Reduce Gaming Dependency and Prevent Gaming Addiction
Figuratively speaking, you can be addicted to anything in life. But there are a significant number of individuals that would agree they are either dependent or addicted to gaming.
Despite gaming not being recognized as an official addiction by the American Medical Association, one study conducted by the University of New Mexico “suggests that 6 to 15 percent of all gamers exhibit signs that could be characterized as addiction.”
An additional study conducted by Iowa State University suggested that nearly one in 10 gamers used for their study (measuring about 8.5 percent) showed signs of being pathological players according to standards established for pathological gambling.
Although these numbers are far from the majority, they are significant enough to be concerning. A person who is dependent or addicted to gaming will often feel the need to prioritize gaming over other life tasks. Constantly thinking about gaming when they are not physically in front of their gaming device is also very concerning.
This could easily warp a child’s ability to prioritize school, career, or mental and physical health if it progresses to an extreme. A way to prevent this is to set clear boundaries early in their gaming experience. They perceive this activity as fun leisure when spare time allows for it rather than it being a priority activity.
Creates Work Ethic and Ensures Healthy Gaming Habits
Parental control tools will help you teach your child that hard work is rewarded with fun, leisurely activities. This can boost their work ethic to finish their schoolwork, chores, or other higher-priority activities first before they can spend time on gaming.
Not only does this create a “work first, play later” mentality, it also helps your child see gaming as a fun-filled activity rather than a way of life.
Individuals that become dependent or addicted to gaming find a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in competing online or completing a game in general. Therefore, it is important for children to see these positive emotions elsewhere in life. Hence, they aren’t as reliant on gaming for feelings of success.
Help Create Boundaries for Kids
Parental controls for computers can limit a child’s access to computer gaming and other online distractions, such as YouTube while allowing parents to monitor their child’s activity and set parameters without being too invasive, such as removing the device altogether.
Placing parental controls on a child’s computer to stop video gaming gently reminds them that ultimately, you decide when they can have access to this leisure activity and for how long. This might seem harsh to the child at first, but it is for a good reason.
Since children have limited experiences and their brains are constantly developing as they age, they are mentally incapable of making logical decisions regarding their personal well-being. This is one of the reasons parental guidance is vital.
In terms of completing priority work and activities first, a child might have earned their gaming time, but that doesn’t mean they can play for 6+ hours a day.
For one, this behavior can have serious physical and mental consequences. If children have unregulated access to computer gaming, it is likely they will play longer than is good for them. This could severely inhibit their amount of nightly sleep, which could have repercussions that seep into other areas of their life.
In adolescence, it’s essential that a child obtains 8 hours of sleep nightly for maximum rest and development. If they spend every night playing video games until 3 am, they will likely suffer academically and perhaps even socially. Lack of sleep could make it difficult for them to pay attention in class, complete homework, perform extracurriculars, and more.
Ensure Content is Age-Appropriate
In the world of gaming, the ESRB will rate each game based on its age-appropriate audience before it is permitted to be released to the public. Although games can have a “Mature” rating, this does not always mean that kids can’t access them. Especially if they have a gaming account with their parent’s payment information on it. Some of the most popular games can also be played for free now adays.
Many mature games will have graphic violence, heavy use of weapons, or sexual content deemed inappropriate for developing children. Particularly those younger than the age of fifteen.
Although some of this content can spark important conversations between a parent and their child, this might not be the way parents want their children exposed to such mature content.
To ensure your child is playing games appropriate for their age, parents can use parental controls to prevent their child from having access to these games.
Online gaming can be an extremely competitive and cruel place. Not only could strangers potentially obtain sensitive information from your child through verbal or written chat groups. But they could also use their username or Gamertag to harass them in-game or through messages.
Cyberbullying has been a profound challenge as social media has grown over the past decade. In their adolescents, children are still developing and full of doubts and insecurities that can easily be played on by predatory video gamers.
Chat groups can certainly have benefits in socialization where your children can play and communicate with their friends online for a shared experience. However, when cyberbullying comes into the picture, it can seriously damage a child mentally and emotionally and ruin an activity that is supposed to be enjoyable to them and others.
To prevent such unpleasantries, parents can limit or stop computer gaming access for their child.
8 Steps to Put Parental Controls on a Computer
If you are reluctant to buy an additional software, try using the parental controls that come with your PC. For this example, we will show you the steps to set up parental controls for Windows 10 computers and laptops.
Steps to activate Parental Controls for Windows 10
- Go to the Windows search bar at the bottom, left-hand corner of your PC screen.
- Type ‘family options’ into the search bar and click on the suggest option at the top of the list. It should have a shield icon to the left of the option and the words “System Settings” beneath.
- Click “View Family Settings.” This will redirect you to the Microsoft family website.
- Create a separate child account that will be used exclusively by your child. They should not use any account but the one you are about to create for them on their devices.
- Enable parental controls on your child’s new account. You must be the “Organizer” for this account to perform this step.
- Once parental controls are enabled, it will automatically inhibit the chosen child’s account from seeing adult content/ block inappropriate websites and block the InPrivate browsing option.
- From the “Family Settings,” you can:
- Set screen time limits and schedules for every day of the week
- Set app and game limits and other content filters
- Require kids to ask a parent before buying stuff
- Fix family activity reporting
- These family safety settings will allow you to monitor your child’s activity on their account and ensure they do not access inappropriate content without your consent. Your child will not be able to alter these settings without accessing the “Organizer” account that controls all electronics on this Microsoft account.
The limitation of using Microsoft Family, is that it only works for Microsoft devices, meaning that you’d have to use a different tool to manage other types of devices, such as phones. This is where Limit Launcher comes in.
What is Limit Launcher?
When it comes to parental controls for Windows 10, Limit Launcher is a great one, as it allows you to monitor and set limits and schedules for your child’s gaming devices without taking away/hiding the device or turning off the house’s Internet.
Limit Launcher works for Mac, iPhone, Android, Chromebook and Windows devices. Aside from gaming, this tool also comes with content restrictions such as YouTube and social media among many other things. They offer an extensive list of game launchers that they inhibit, which can be found here. If a game launcher is not included, you can contact Limit Launcher to have it added.
The subscription and setup process takes no more than 5 minutes and allows you to manage up to 20 devices. If you are wary of using this option, Limit Launcher automatically supplies a 14-Day free trial to help you determine if it is the right fit for you and your family.
Why Use Limit Launcher to stop video gaming?
There is a clear distinction between Limit Launcher and other parental control brands. Nowadays, computers play an essential role in the education of youth. However, when PC gaming is available on the same computer children to use for their homework and research, it can severely inhibit their academic focus and success.
Most parental control brands will limit the child’s PC gaming abilities by limiting internet access and screen time. This can affect their ability to use the computer for school and other productive tasks. Therefore, Limit Launcher is designed to distinguish computer gaming activity from other computer activities automatically. This allows parents to:
- Block all distractions from their child’s computer.
- Set clear parameters of when gaming, video content and social media is accessible to their child.
- Monitor when their child last used a device.
- Immediately shut-down game access when necessary or as determined by pre-set limits.
- Advanced screen time functions that sync across all of a child’s devices.
- School mode – Make any device optimized for use in school and lessons.
Limit Launcher does not collect any personal data from the users (child or parent) for increased safety and reliability. It only requires limited information necessary for account creation, and once it is installed and set up, Limit Launcher will work automatically in the background without parents needing to make changes on the app constantly.
Now you know 2 ways of adding parental controls for Windows 10. Microsoft family safety is a great way to keep your children safe on Windows devices. If your child however uses more than just a Windows device, using an app like Limit Launcher is an easy and efficient way to keep your children safe and productive when they need to be.