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How to manage your child’s profile on three gaming platforms

By: Jim Beaugez on Sep 26, 2023 3:25:31 PM


One of the biggest issues parents have with gaming platforms and online games is the time their kids spend staring at a screen. The other big one is the ability for kids to engage in conversations with strangers. Both of those concerns—as well as content restrictions—are addressed in parental controls for the three most popular gaming platforms, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Xbox.

Here’s what you need to know.

Playstation 5
Sony’s long-running PlayStation platform, now in its fifth iteration, provides parents with the ability to safeguard their kids from viewing questionable content. After you create a profile for your child, you can assign one of four preset privacy profiles—nicknamed Social and Open, Team Player, Friend Focused and Solo and Focused—or select Customize Settings to dial in your own settings.

Subsequent screens allow you to set who can see information about your kid, including their online status and gaming history, as well as how they can communicate through the platform, such as sending friend requests and interaction settings. You’ll get to choose a restriction level and set rules for web browsing, use of VR and if they can communicate with others on the PS Network.


Nintendo Switch
The game creators at Nintendo have been at it a long time—what parent doesn’t remember Super Mario Brothers, the NES and Nintendo 64 from their own childhoods?—and they’ve figured out a thing or two about parental controls. The Nintendo Switch, the latest platform, gives parents plenty of opportunities to direct their access.

Time limits are easy to set, and they apply systemwide, not for individual profiles. You can also set a different time limit for every day of the week. Play restrictions are based on a game’s age rating and the user’s age setting in their profile. In-game communications and social media posting can be enabled or disabled according to the parent’s choice, and they can get a monthly report that shows how much time was spent playing and on which games.

Like the latest offerings from Sony and Nintendo, the Microsoft Xbox has family-friendly features to give parents more control and peace of mind over their kids’ online gaming. That means the familiar content restrictions and web filtering are standard here, as well, and weekly activity reports will give parents a breakdown of how much time their kids are spending online and on which games.

Parents can set parameters on how long their kids can play by setting and even pausing play time. You can also view their account balance and spending history, as well as manage their online purchases and add money to a child’s account for in-game purchases. It’s easy to set up notifications for your child’s friend requests and also their requests for more screen time, and you’ll be able to manage how they’re able to interact with other players online.

Take the pledge
Make sure your kids understand that having a connected device comes with responsibilities. This pledge provides guidelines to help your kids and teens use their devices and the internet safely.

More resources for parents
Read more helpful articles about restricting content, limiting screen time and setting boundaries for social media in the C Spire Parents’ Resource Center.

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Topics: Connect & Protect

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