From Family and Media, we learn of new Android apps for parent control:

Kids Place It can happen for various reasons, such as the rush of an unexpected visit, that you give your child a cell phone to pass the time so that he might not bother you. This is a risk however, given that you are not absolutely certain of what your child might do with the phone: receive calls, change settings, make unintended purchases online, reset the system, etc. Kid Place creates a safe area so that children can interact with the phone in a secure way. This application allows you to configure the home screen in a personalized way with the applications that you consider most appropriate. It also allows you to block signal to avoid incoming and outgoing calls, and even set a security PIN to enter and exit applications.

Secure Teen Parental Control This application acts like a filter that prevents your child or teenager from, intentionally or not, accessing unsuitable and prejudicial content for his age. Besides offering the possibility for 24 hour a day, seven days a week supervision of how your child uses the device, it will also help you to geographically locate your minor and assure that he is not in any risk. Everything is done remotely, by a parental control panel. More

Okay. Must admit, I have mixed feelings about apps for parent control.

One fall day in 2012, I was in a town in northern Ontario (really north). A fellow journalist nudged me, asking, do you notice anything unusual?

Yes, I did.

A bunch of kids were just riding their bikes all evening around town. They weren’t supervised at all.

Of course, everyone in town knew who they were and anyone would have helped them. 

That was the world he and I had grown up in, and understood, not the current world of constant parent control (or no control).

But I’m too old to give new parents advice. Would just remind people that the late Steve Jobs was a low tech parent.

Also that if one lives in an area that children have no freedom to explore safely, one might wish to consider moving. There are lots of such places out there, and the property is often affordable.

I say nothing for or against the Android apps, only that kids should just be kept too busy to need this stuff anyway.

Fresh air is a good start.

Denyse O’Leary is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger.

Denyse O’Leary is an author, journalist, and blogger who has mainly written popular science and social science. Fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan’s description of electronic media as a global village...