It's one thing to congratulate a kid on saving up. It's another thing to live with the device.
Because while they are in charge of loving it and feeding it electricity, but we all know it's you that will have to monitor it, regulate it, ensure that they remember to stop for food and maintain the ability to speak in multiple syllables to real human beings.
And then there is porn.
So in case any of your Christmas delights will include a screen or two, here are two apps worth considering.
Dinnertime is a free app that lets you control their tablet from your phone. You can shut down their tablet for a dinner break, a study break or for sleep time. If you go for Dinnertime Plus, you can also set time limits for the use of the tablet, time limits for an individual app or just block a particular app during homework time. Yes, you could do all this by physically removing the device but there is less friction involved when you can simply press a button and leave the device on charge in their room without having to police it. Only available for Android tablets... but can be controlled by either an Android or iphone. HT The Vicar's Wife
Net Nanny is our content-blocker of choice at present. It is not a substitute for monitoring your children or teaching them to handle the world of the internet. However, it's a great tool for restricting some of the real and present dangers that lurk on the net. Cheap tablets often don't come with the parental control options that ipads have and so they can indeed be a totally unrestricted device. Cost is an ongoing subscription and varies depending on how many devices you want to have on your account. It's reasonably customizable: you can have your 16-year old and your 7-year old as separate users with different levels of blocking.