How can I keep my son from gaming on his laptop?

Episode 1042 (17:25)

John from Newport Beach, CA

John got his son a new laptop for Christmas and wants to know how he can restrict his game play on it. Leo says he wouldn't take that approach, and instead he would team him balance and moderation. There are ways to prevent applications from being installed, but then he could just find web-based games to play instead. Also, if he blocks it, it'll just make him want to do it more. There's also no perfect way to block these things, since anything can be bypassed. Kids are great at finding ways around these things as well.

John should make sure that the computer is located somewhere he can see, so he can keep tabs on what he's doing. He could also give him a limited account with only John being able to install anything. If John wants to limit his time online, he can set up the router to be online for only a few hours a day, or use the MAC address to set an internet curfew. Leo suggests using OpenDNS to block inappropriate websites as well.

Ultimately, Leo doesn't suggest having a "police state" in his house. He can also have them sign an Internet Use Contract. Leo says to teach them responsibilities and consequences and let them police themselves. However, Leo doesn't want to be telling anyone how they should parent either because every situation is unique.

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