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Children and Media

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Setting Wii's Parental Controls

By Common Sense Media


There are two big things to know about keeping the Wii family friendly – the first is to be sure kids use the Wii in age appropriate ways (don't forget your wii can be a wireless portal to the internet) and the second is to make sure they don't play all day.

The Wii folks give you two tools to help. The first is setting parental controls. It's easy.

  1. Go to the Wii channel menu.
  2. Use the remote to cursor over the wii button in the bottom left corner of the screen and press the A button.
  3. From the main Wii Menu and System Settings screen, use the Wii Remote to move the cursor over the "Wii Settings" option (you will see a wrench icon).
  4. Press the A button to enter the System Settings.
  5. Go to the parental controls which are on the second "page" (scroll to right).
  6. Create a pin number that you wont forget and enter in the highest level of game allowed for your kid. If your Wii console is also connected to the internet, you have the ability to place limits on the online features, found in the "Other Settings":

We strongly suggest checking out the online communication and user created content controls because you may not want your younger kids doing online gaming.

Finally, some games like Wii Sports have prompts that ask the user if they want to take a break from playing. We  encourage kids to do just that so that they start exercising the muscles they will need to use to actually TURN OFF their gaming machines!

For parents who are not sure their kids will ever develop such self control, there are technology helpers like Wii Parental Control 5.0, which will monitor the time on the Wii and shut off power when kids exceed their allotted time use. But, quite frankly, these programs all cost 30-40 dollars. The best limiter of time remains a parent's voice.

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