In this day and age, can you ever be too vigilant about what your child is doing online? For me, the answer is "no." And that's why my kids have Amazon Kindles, which only allow them to access certain content that my husband and I pre-approve. So say they want to watch some super-sexy music video on YouTube—not gonna happen.
Now, Amazon has introduced a free Parent Dashboard—which you can find at parents.amazon.com via any browser—that allows you to see exactly how long kids are engaging in which activities online, from reading books, to watching videos, to playing games. In other words, you may know your kiddo spent an hour on the Kindle, but now you can monitor exactly what they are doing on there!
And, not only can you see specifically what your children are consuming online, but the dashboard also prompts you with "Discussion Cards" that suggest how to talk with them about that content. For example, if your child watches the new episode of Sesame Street that introduces Julia, a character with autism, he or she may have questions. The prompts help you be more prepared to answer those questions.
The goal here is to help parents both monitor kids' usage, but also connect with their kids about their online lives, which is a big part of their overall identities the older they get, whether we want to accept it or not!
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and soon-to-be mom of 4. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of yoga.