Computers are becoming increasingly important, nowadays. Most jobs involve interactions with these machines, and more and more people are finding that they have to use them in their personal life, too. This rising prevalence makes it crucial that young people are given the right start when it comes to their computing career. By giving them the chance to experience these devices from an early age, you can teach them the fundamental skills they’ll need in later life, but you have to take the right approach. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the ways to make your Mac into a child-friendly computer.
Keeping in control of the machine your child is using is crucial when you first start this process. There are a number of ways to achieve this goal, including simply watching your kids during use, though parental settings will be quite a bit easier. These settings come with every Mac, and can be accessed through the “Accounts” portion of the main settings menu. When you turn something like this on, you will have the chance to restrict the websites and software a child can use, while also limiting the time they have on the machine each day. This is an excellent way to take control of your kid’s online activities without having to watch them all the time.
A lot of people like to put a significant amount of time into making their computers work in the way that they want them to. This can often involve changing the UI, moving software around on the desktop, and altering the menus which are found on the device. If you give something like this to your child to use, though, they will be easily confused by your methods, and won’t be able to learn to use other Macs if they are battling one which feels highly customized. You should make their child’s account a fresh one, ensuring that they are working with a version of OSX which is nice and close to the stock experience.
For kids, a computer should always be a learning tool before they start to have fun with it. By using these machines to learn about other subjects, you will force your child to teach themselves to use the computer, all without direct instructions. Learning to use a computer is often best done through intuition. These devices are designed to be easy to understand and all follow similar design languages, making it easy to understand them all once you’ve had the chance to work with one.
Along with learning about other subjects, you could also think about learning to use the computer a little more effectively, and there are a lot of different options for this. Online programming games are a great example. Not only will this give your child the framework for an incredibly useful skill, but it will also teach them about logic, and how these machines use it to produce the results which people want. It’s often easiest to learn this sort of thing when you’re still young, making it worth looking down this route when you first get started.
Video games have long been one of the most popular entertainment sources for young people, providing something more than watching TV or reading a book. Of course, though, while video games are fun, they can also present challenges which will force your child to learn the machine better to solve. Learning how to connect Xbox One controller to Mac, for example, will take a lot of research, as you won’t be able to simply pair it like you would with your normal computer. Gaming is an excellent gateway to more serious computing.
To make this work, you’re going to need to hunt for some games which work on these machines. As they aren’t typically designed for gaming, it isn’t always easy to find titles which will work on them. A piece of software called Steam can make this easier, as you can set it up to only display titles which will work on your machine, and there are plenty on there to tide most kids over. Of course, it’s worth letting your kids have a look at the games they have access to before you decide which ones to buy.
One of the hardest things for a lot of people to get to grips with when they are using computers and other digital devices are the different menus and options you’ll find across the spectrum. Android is vastly different when compared to OSX, for example, and this can make it hard for a child to understand the operating systems they’re using if they have access to a lot of different devices. If they’re going to use a phone or tablet alongside your Mac, it will be worth making sure that they are Apple devices. This will ensure that they don’t get confused, while also teaching them how the ecosystem works.
In a lot of cases, kids don’t even need to try and use a computer before they start to feel confused. Being overwhelmed by options when they first boot the machine can make them panic, creating a huge challenge when it comes to having them use it effectively. For this reason, you should work hard to make sure that the device they are using is free from bloaty software which will make it harder to use. Not only will this make the whole thing less confusing, but it will also help to make the computer faster.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on making your Mac more child-friendly. A lot of people struggle with this process, finding it hard to know what needs to be done when they are trying to help their child into the world of computing. Of course, though, as time goes on, it will be easier to see what they need to learn, and their struggles will serve as an excellent sign to point you in the right direction.