We are a devout Catholic / Jewish / Muslim / Unitarian / Bah’ai / Wiccan / Pastafarian family. Does this software promote good values?

The software allows you to declare your values and bring them into your child’s online experiences. We do not decide which values we like or whose match our own. We would be happy to work with community leaders to help their members to decide which behaviors and content sources are favorable, but we are a neutral party and facilitator.

You might be interested to know that, when we have enough data (and consent), we can share with you what others with your belief system are doing – not to impose anyone else’s values on you, but to help gain some perspective on the complex matter of household rules.

Do you make money from content providers? Should I worry that you are “gatekeeping” on their behalf?

If we did that, you wouldn’t trust us. If we partner with a content provider, the goal is to look at how their material can interact with our system so that you can delve more deeply into controlling access for your family – either by encouraging it as constructive, positive or educational, or by limiting or blocking it.

I won’t let my son play a violent video game. He argues that all of his friends have access to a game. How can I check this without calling the other parents and embarrassing him?

Not right away, unless you recommend the service to your community and ask them to share their table of rules. We consider your privacy, and your neighbors, to be a supremely important component – some of your core beliefs are in there.

You might be interested to know that, when we have enough data (and consent), we can share with you what others like you are doing – based on geography, priorities, and other data. This is not to impose anyone else’s values on you, but to help gain some perspective on the complex matter of household rules.

I give my child a cell phone so that he can be safe when he’s out of the house, unsupervised. What good is it if I shut it off to stop him from playing with it in the park?

We get this question a lot, so it’s worth being specific. If you have shut off the phone because the limits were reached, or as a punishment or some other problem, we do not shut it off completely. They are still able to call or text 9-1-1, the home and your cell phone, or go into the RaisedDigital app to ask permission for more.

What if my child needs access to her computer and I am out of town, at work or in a meeting?

Let’s say your daughter is at the library one evening and you are working late. She has exceeded her time limit on her tablet but she is working on a school project due tomorrow and needs an extension. She can use the app on the tablet to ask for an exception. You will get an alert on your cellphone and you can give her permission on the spot. She can ask both parents and only one needs to give approval (the other parent will know that approval is given).

If this is not enough, you can set the service to “trusted mode” where the child can get extensions and permission at their own discretion, and you are alerted later on, for discussion purposes. Trusted mode can apply to a device, a child, or the whole system.

I am a very liberal parent, and I feel that if the child has access to everything, eventually they will self-regulate and it will all work out well. Why do I need parental control software?

Our answer is in two words – research and development.

There is a mountain of research to support the conclusion that your child’s development is at stake. The impact of a steady diet of screen time is predictable and measurable. Researchers are demonstrating the negative impact on a child’s attention span, emotional detachment, learning capabilities, and memory, not to mention the results of a passive lifestyle on childhood obesity.

Some, all or none of these conclusions may describe your child, and they may be exceptional. At the very least, we would like you to know what your child does consume so that you can have a healthy and informed discussion about it after the fact. This is not the role of “parent as police officer” but a healthy interest in where they spend their time, energy and money.

I only want my son to get access to Netflix when he mows the lawn. The lawnmower isn’t connected to the Internet. How can this work?

We are working on intelligent lawnmowers but the product is a few years off. For the moment, if  your son sees that his access is linked to a chore, he can go to the app (or the web) and see what he must do to get screen time. Once completed, he can go back to the web and say “it’s done” to get his privileges.

If he has not been truthful about the chore, he will lose the “trust value” in the system, and you can give him the privilege only after you have personally observed the results. This can apply to the lawn being mowed, dishes washed, walking the dog, being polite to Grandma during the visit, not swearing for a whole week, getting a good checkup at the dentist, or any other behavior you want to link to his digital privileges.