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Putting Limits on TV Time
We generally don’t let our kids watch TV during the week. It’s something we’ve implemented for a while now and the kids’ focus and behavior seems to be more consistent. We’ve previously noticed that they have gotten a little cranky after it’s turned off, if they have extended viewing. So, when that pattern emerged, the easiest thing was to cut it off during the school week. Having dedicated TV time is great, but it’s particularly helpful when we don’t worry about what’s coming on next. That’s kind of why we love our Fire TV Stick.
The Fire TV Stick is what we have connected to the television in our kids’ playroom. This space is theirs alone. They have most of their toys, gadgets, and crafts downstairs. So, it makes sense for them to also be able to watch TV in that space too. One of the things that can be a problem is when shows auto-play after one finishes. That’s great for the most part, but what happens after they reach the end of a particular show? Some apps, like the Tubi app for example, auto-played from a cartoon to a live-action film. Unless we had an account with this app, we couldn’t adjust any type of parental settings. Well, that app was quickly deleted once we discovered this.
Parental Controls Help Set Boundaries
We really like the parental controls with the Fire TV Stick. You set the rating for which children can make their selections from. If you set to G-Rated, then anything listed with an above rating must have a designated password entered. This is perfect! This really provides some semblance of comfort knowing your kids can’t turn on anything at any time. Yes, we believe our kids can exercise some control, but it provides a safeguard. Sometimes, our kids will see an image that looks entertaining, but they won’t realize it’s PG-13. Having the passcode prompt automatically signals them to ask us if they can watch it.
Another benefit of this rating system is the non-rated materials. Yes, it is odd that something like Scooby Doo doesn’t have a rating currently listed. However, it does let us know that non-rated material won’t simply play. You have to enter in your passcode for that type of show or movie. It might seem bothersome to have to enter in a code after every single episode of Scooby Doo, but in the end, this safeguards your kids from seeing content that could be too mature for them. So, that’s a big plus for us with the Fire TV Stick.
The controls for the Fire TV Stick are also easy to manage. Both kids were able to pick up on how to work the buttons. It took a few tries to get used to working it without supervision, but they’re both pros now. The Fire TV Stick remote does not have a voice-activated search button, which appears to be the standard with today’s model. Speaking of outdated models, we also own the Fire TV in its original form. This does have the voice-activated remote. We’ve had this device for many years, and eventually, we’ll upgrade to the Fire TV Cube when needed.
Ease of Mind with the Fire TV Stick
If you’re looking to set some TV watching guidelines for your kids, then we definitely recommend the Fire TV Stick. It’s easy to use, plus the parental settings really do a great job of limiting access to mature content. Along with ratings, there is PIN protection for purchases, launching different apps, and even Amazon photos that might appear on screen. All of these things combined give us a reason to breathe deeply with a sigh of relief. So, check out the Fire TV Stick, and then take a deep breath knowing your kids will be in good “hands.”