questionsdoes anyone know how to limit the total hours…


You could always go low tech and get a cheap egg timer. My mom used one for me when I was a kid to make sure I practiced my piano lesson long enough.


Um, you could turn it off...

Or take it away for that matter, send them outside!


Use a timer, either mechanical or digital. When the time is up, it's up. They need to get off and there is no other choice. It might sound harsh but it's not meant to be, they will manage their time just fine.


Trend Micro Titanium lets you control the specific times a child is allowed to use the computer, and/or how many hours per day (with separate controls for weekdays and weekends).

Set up each child with a username and password, then you can vary the rules per child.


@xarous That's exactly what I am looking for. Not sure if I want to pay $29.95 for it though.

I want them to learn how to monitor themselves, so perhaps a digital timer would work also, as they can start/stop it whenever they get on/off the computer.

Thanks for the suggestions.


There's definitely software that will do that, but unless we're talking about very, very small kids they'll easily find a way around it. When I was in middle school the teachers decided to put some kind of blocking software on all the lab computers--it took us all of 5 minutes to figure out how to disable it from even starting up, and we were hardly genius hackers.

You'd be better off removing an essential hardware part of the computer such as the power cord or, if that's too inconvenient, the mouse.


We don't have timer software, but do have the kid's machines locked out with password screen savers.
They ask, we unlock, timer starts. (they haven't learned how to disable the screensaver yet, and aren't really interested to find out, actually, which strangely concerns me)

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Stepping sideways from the original question: I now use a kitchen timer to remind myself to stand up and walk a bit every 20 minutes. Having lots of free time has morphed into spending too much time playing on the computer.


I used netnanny when my daughter was young. We decided to just put the pc out in the hall when she was older. We kept netnanny because they sent an emailed report about websites and who logged on etc.. that my daughter couldn't disable. I think we paid $20 for it at the time, but the license was for lifetime. Of course this was a while ago, as my baby girl is 19 now.


We just got an ipad and the kids are pretty rabid about it. Like the computer or any other gadget that has a screen. We have a reading policy.

The first hour is free. If they want to watch more TV or spend more time with the ipad or computer they have to read for at least half an hour to get a half hour more screen time.

I'm not crazy about reading on the ipad or computer though. I'd prefer an old-fashioned book.


Not to be critical, just matter of fact, but if you as the parent can't just say "time's up" and have them step away with little or no protest, you need to step it up.
Also, if the computer is not in a common area of the home where everyone, especially you, can see what they are doing, move it.


If you want them to not spend as much time on the computer you could sign them up for something more active. For example, sign them up for soccer, baseball, dance, etc.