If your child is a PlayStation gamer, you’ll be happy to know that there are multiple ways to lock down their playtime, customizing restrictions on a per-user basis. This means that no matter how many different consoles they have in the house – whether it’s the latest PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 – parental controls are always an option.
You might not be surprised to hear that video games can be an educational tool. Games are a wonderful medium for teaching creativity, language, socialization, problem solving and other crucial skills as kids grow up in a digital world. But there’s also a lot of downtime during gaming — so much so that if you’re not careful, it can easily bleed over into schoolwork time.
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One of the most important things you can do to give your kids a successful back-to-school experience is to reduce their gaming time and keep them focused on their homework and schoolwork. Gaming consoles around the house are not only distractions but can also be dangerous in some circumstances (like when children start climbing on top of flat screen TV’s).
But there’s good news: depending on what platform(s) you use, you may already have the kinds of parental controls you need to ensure that gaming doesn’t disrupt your kids’ learning.
If you’re concerned that your child might be spending too much time playing video games, or if you want to restrict access to age-inappropriate content, the PS5 and PS4 consoles let you set up a child account and apply parental controls.
Through the Family Management settings on your PS5 or PS4 console, you can limit playtime and control how your kids interact with other players. You can also restrict access to inappropriate content by age rating, such as blocking apps and games rated for adults only.
When it comes to the PlayStation, the two most popular parental controls are restricting access to online games or applications and creating an age rating limit for games. Another feature is time restrictions, which can be used to set a time limit on how long each day your child can use the PlayStation.
Feature: You can now control the games your kids play on your PS4 and PS5. No more little one accessing age restricted and adult content from the PS store.
Benefits: This helps to avoid situations where children inadvertently buy or download inappropriate games on your system.
Advantage: You will spend less time checking out their computer game viewing options and you can play role models for children in the house. Set rules and hours that can’t be changed, except by a parent through the Parental Control center.
Here’s how to get the most out of your family’s game console while maintaining focus on schoolwork the rest of the day.
To activate parental controls, you must first create a PlayStation account for your child and set their age to under 18 years old. This is important because sensitive personal information will be associated with this account. Once the initial setup is complete, you can sign in with your account and modify the parental control settings to your liking.
Setup Parental Controls on PS4 and PS5
The PlayStation is a pretty smart gaming console. It has parental controls to keep your kids safe. It also has a few tricks up its sleeve to help you organize and find things easily.
The PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 offers the most robust set of parental control features yet and does it all with a simple setup process from within the system’s main menu. Here’s how to do it!
- From your PS5 / PS4 home screen, select Settings.
- Select Parental Controls / Family Management.
- Select Create a Child Account. On PlayStation 4/ PlayStation 5, you will be prompted to log in to your account before you can proceed.
- Enter the following information for your child’s account: User name, Sign-in ID (email address), Password and Date of Birth.
- Once you have created your child’s account, return to the settings menu and select Parental Controls / Family Management again from the sidebar.
- Choose Parental Controls from the sidebar, then select your child’s user profile on the right side of the screen.
- Under Child Account Management, select Change Restrictions Settings, then enter your password to confirm that you are an adult account holder and unblock content restrictions for children accounts.
- From this screen, you can enable or disable access to online play, communications and social networks, sharing content online, PlayStation Store purchases and more via parental controls menu on PS5 / PS4 and change other restrictions settings like set play time limits on your Playstation console.
- You can also select Restrict Use of PS5 / PS4 Features to set the age level for games and restrict the use of online features, including voice chat and messaging. Select Block on any content you want to restrict. Offline settings apply when your child is not online and online settings apply when they’re connected to PlayStation Network. All settings can be changed at any time by navigating back to this menu and selecting Update Settings.
- A parent can create a safe and controlled environment for the child: Family managers can restrict access to some parts of the system and/or set a spending limit for PlayStation Store purchases (for PlayStation Plus, games, apps and other items purchased from PlayStation Store).
What you can restrict on PS5 and PS4 using Parental Controls
As a parent, you can restrict the use of the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 system so that children cannot use it without supervision.
You can restrict the following:
- Use of online features
- Communication with other users
- Play of specific games
- Restrict web browsing
- Restrict communication and user-generated content
- Age filtering for online content
- Set monthly spending limit
- Set age rating levels for starting DVD
- Set age rating levels for starting PS5 games and apps
- Restrict use of PlayStation VR
- Change Playtime for Today
- Video clips (gameplay video).
- Gameplay broadcasts.
- Another player’s user-generated content in-game.
- Another player’s personal description on their profile.
- Sending text messages and voice chatting with other players.
- Sending pre-written messages in-game is allowed.
- Sharing user-generated content created by the child.
- Seeing another player’s user-generated content.
How to set a monthly spending limit on PS5 consoles
On the PlayStation 5 and PS5 Digital Edition consoles, you can set a monthly spending limit so that your family members (children) can buy games and other content through the PlayStation Store. You can set a monthly spending limits for each adult and child account in your family group or household.
Find the family on your PlayStation Network account.
Open up the console’s settings menu and select Parental Controls/Family Management.
In the Family Management screen, select your child’s profile.
Select Spending Limits.
Choose the spending limit you want to use, then select Continue.
Change Playtime for Today
Playtime management helps you keep track of your child’s playtime and manage it on a daily basis.
The options available in Playtime Management depend on the family member’s age. If your child is under 13, you can restrict usage to certain times or adjust limits for specific games. For children over 13 years old, you can adjust their playtime duration for the day or access more detailed settings.
Open Settings > Family Management > Family Management to manage the playtime of each member.
You can set up Play Time Controls for your child family member.
Under the Days and Time column, select time limits for each day of the week and select [Save].
If you don’t want to set time limits for a specific day, leave that day blank.
Under the Sessions column, select a playtime length for each session. The total duration is shared on your PS5 console and PS4 console. For example, if you select 60 minutes of playtime in a single session, your child family member will have 60 minutes total to play on both consoles. Select [Save].
To automatically log out your child family member when their playtime runs out, select the checkbox next to Automatically log out. Otherwise, they’ll receive a notification when their playtime runs out.
Restrictions for Games, Applications and Internet Browser
You can restrict access to games, applications, internet browser and other features of your PS5 console or PS4 console. These settings are applied to all users who sign in with a sub account.
You can restrict access to certain content categories and online features by age rating. For example, games rated for adults will not be playable when restricted. You can also restrict access to certain communication features based on age rating.
Are parental controls effective?
It really depends on your level of involvement in raising your child. Great tools, but they cannot make up for poor parenting skills. Teaching kids the right critical thinking and resilience skills is important, or they may fall victim to risks that are outside parental controls or privacy settings.
Parental controls and privacy settings are tools used to minimise the risk your children could be exposed to online. They control what personal information can be accessed, the types of apps they can download, and the friends they can make. There’s even a setting that allows you to lock your child’s screen from 11pm to 7am each night. However, these technologies are not an “all or nothing” solution.
What Age Should parental controls be removed?
A debate has been raging over whether parental controls should be removed after a child turns 13 or 15. While there are credible arguments for both sides, it is important to make a good decision for your family.
Why do parental controls exist?
Parental controls enable parents to manage the content their children are able to view on the internet. They create boundaries and set limits on what kids can see, watch and do online. Parental controls can also restrict how long kids spend online, ensuring they aren’t spending too much time on digital devices.
Some thoughts on setting up Parental Controls on PlayStation PS4 / PS5 for Kids
Sony had a solid idea in mind with the implementation of parental controls on the PlayStation 3. Most parents will be inclined to say yes if you ask them if their child should be allowed to play mature video games without any restrictions.
The way they saw it, kids might skip out on a game if they knew they couldn’t complete certain portions of it. With that in mind, Sony offered parents a larger degree of control over the gaming experience than its competition.
By setting up parental controls and restrictions on the system, you will ensure that your child is only able to use the features of the system that you deem appropriate for their age. Access to the PlayStation Store, playing games rated for Mature audiences, and movies with a Mature rating will be disabled. Depending on your family needs, you might also choose to disable access to Internet Browser, as this is typically where children can get into real trouble.
These options give parents some peace of mind that their children can’t access mature content. However, if there’s a game that you really want to play but it’s blocked by the system, you can simply adjust the parental controls. Just go back to System Restrictions and change from On to Off. The same goes for movies, games and TV shows that are restricted by default.
Parvinder Singh is a seasoned IT developer and network engineer with over 5 years of experience. He is also a skilled tech columnist, offering insights on the latest trends and developments in the tech industry.