I mentioned a short while ago that I’ve been tempted to set the Monster up with an account on my Mac (see Boys and Their Toys). I decided yesterday that it was time for me to do it, and went about getting it put into place.
Mac OS X has a setting, apparently, for managed parental accounts, so I used that for the basis of what I was going to do. (I’ve never had to set up an account for anyone else besides an adult previously – my wife has an account on the Mac too, but she rarely uses it and she’s set up as a ‘standard’ user.) I like this option primarily because, as mentioned, there’s really little damage he can do to the computer from a non-admin account already and this allowed me to further limit what he was capable of doing on the machine.
I went a step further and set up Chrome to automatically go to Sesame Street’s website, just as an additional safety measure. I would have considered other steps, but he loves Sesame and it’s a ‘safe’ site as far as I’m concerned. I also figured that using this would be good motivation for him to learn how to use the mouse to do other things besides veg out in front of the computer with videos, since most things you end up clicking on at their site turn into games.
Naturally, this meant that we went for a test-run this morning.
The Monster likes to play with the mouse – it’s the getting him to realize that it does things when it moves that’s the hard part. (He’s a bit too accustomed, perhaps, to tablet devices where his finger is the pointer.) He’s very much into clicking the buttons, which ends up sending him places he doesn’t want to go. I ended up jumping to the ‘Muppet’ page, which featured a collage of the characters, where mousing-over a character has them doing something…
..and then we sat there for ten minutes as he figured out that moving off a character and back on gets them to do it again. Specifically, Oscar fishing for a boot out of his can. For some reason this morning, that appealed to him more than anything else, and he kept making Oscar do that, yelling out, “Oscar is fishing!” every time the video restarted. (At least the wife wasn’t tortured with listening to it, as I can close the doors.) He would let me guide him over to other characters, but as soon as I let go of his hand, it was back to Oscar…
Oh well. Now to find some apps for him….