Buying a new Alexa is very exciting. You get a lot of advantages. You can purchase, order food, stream music, call friends, and even Ola or Uber without lifting your finger. But how do you manage your kids and keep them from using Alexa? Let’s find out.
To make Alexa kid-proof, turn on the parental controls. Also, customize the responses in Alexa by using voice profiles, keeping her mute, and limiting explicit content. Furthermore, teach children to use Alexa politely and correctly for something good.
There are several things to learn about controlling Alexa and keeping her from listening to kids’ every command. Read this article until the end to learn how you can make Alexa ignore kids and teach kids to use Alexa correctly.
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Exploring Child-Friendly Alexa Settings
Using Alexa to do most tasks with a mere command is very exciting.
You can buy things, listen to music, call your friends and family, and do many activities without lifting your hands and looking for the same things on your mobile.
It is even fun for the kids.
But at times, you will need Alexa to ignore children.
You have no idea what your kid can do with your tech and get things done using Alexa.
Kids nowadays easily get to learn about technology.
So, controlling them and stopping them from misusing Alexa is very important.
That is why recent technologies have introduced several child-friendly settings in the Alexa devices and the Alexa app to control the kids.
These settings will allow your kids to know what is valuable and necessary.
At the same time, it will control your kids and stop them from doing something explicit.
Today’s kids can order things and even pay online if they know the pin codes and passwords.
Turning on features like Parental Controls and Kid Mode and disabling Voice Purchases in Alexa will stop the kid from purchasing excessive products and emptying your bank account.
You can even make Alexa ignore certain voices.
If no voice profiles are created for your child, Alexa will ignore your kid’s voice.
That can be frustrating for a toddler.
Instead of that, use Amazon Freetime. Alexa will behave like a friend to your kid.
It will tell jokes and stories and even answer kid-friendly questions.
So, these kid-friendly settings can influence Alexa to ignore your kid and stop your kid from using Alexa roughly all the time.
Let’s discuss all these features and how you enable them in your Alexa app and devices.
How to make Alexa ignore children?
Alexa is a voice assistant service by Amazon.
Being a voice assistant, Alexa can reply to everyone’s voice, even kids.
As we know how mischievous kids can be, keeping kids from using Alexa and doing something wrong is crucial.
That is why making Alexa ignore the child’s voice is the best option.
Once your child learns to use Alexa properly, you can allow Alexa to listen to your kid.
Let’s learn in what ways we can make Alexa ignore children:
How to activate Kid Mode or Child Profile on Alexa devices?
In this mode, your kids won’t be able to access anything except for kid-friendly content.
Here are the steps:
- Install the Alexa app on your mobile phone.
- Click on the DEVICES icon at the screen’s bottom and then click on ALL DEVICES.
- Please scroll down and click AMAZON KIDS and toggle it on.
- Tap SETUP AMAZON KIDS. If there are other devices where your child’s name is present, it will appear in the app after you click this option.
- Click on ADD CHILD, type the first name in the box, select the gender, add a birth date, choose an avatar, or let your kid choose one. Tap SAVE.
- You can even add another child’s name if you have more than one kid. Otherwise, click on CONTINUE.
- The app will go through the privacy consent and adult verification process.
- You will learn more about kid-enabled Alexa’s available content, features, and other settings on the GETTING STARTED WITH AMAZON KIDS screen.
- Tap the AMAZON KIDS SETTINGS at the bottom of the page.
- Add content and fine-tune your child’s setting any time by going to the PARENT DASHBOARD in the Alexa app or Amazon account. Inside the app, click the DEVICE icon, then DEVICES, and select the device where you have added your kid.
- Tap AMAZON KIDS and AMAZON KIDS SETTING.
- Tap your child’s name and follow up with the prompts to add content, set daily time limits, pause or resume devices, etc.
This setting will encourage Alexa to show the kid child-friendly content and the content you have selected for them to watch.
There is another setting similar to this: Parental Controls.
I will share this later, so keep reading.
Limiting Explicit Content
You will only know what type of music or audio content your child stumbles over on the Internet using Alexa if you hear yourself.
So, you can limit the explicit content for your child with the explicit filter in Alexa.
Setting an Explicit filter will block Alexa from playing songs that contain explicit content, words, and phrases.
The filter will also stop your kid from streaming Gimme Radio, Deezer, iHeartRadion, TuneIn, or SiriusXM.
To turn on the filter:
- Open SETTINGS.
- Select MUSIC.
- Toggle on the EXPLICIT FILTER.
You can also ask Alexa to block the explicit songs.
You will also have to toggle off the VOICE DEACTIVATION to OFF so your child cannot get rid of the filter.
Parental Control Features
You can enable the parental controls in your Alexa app for iOS, Android, or Fire Tablets.
For the Alexa devices, you have to turn on the FreeTime or FreeTime Unlimited parental controls for each Alexa device individually.
Here are the steps to turn on parental controls for the Alexa app:
- Click on DEVICES and then go to ECHO & ALEXA.
- Now click on the device you want to enable the parental controls.
- For example, if you have Echo Dot, check and select the device. This applies to all the devices that use Alexa.
- Scroll down, click on FreeTime, and tap the toggle switch to turn on the FreeTime.
- Now click on SET UP AMAZON FREETIME.
- Enter your kid’s name, gender, and birth date, choose a profile icon, and click ADD CHILD.
- Tap ADD CHILD again if you have more kid profiles, or click on CONTINUE.
- Click on CONTINUE again for the required permissions.
- Enter a password for your Amazon account and click on SIGN IN.
- Tap I AGREE to grant parental consent, and again click CONTINUE.
- Tap START YOUR ONE MONTH FREE TRIAL to set up the FreeTime Unlimited account, or tap CANCEL.
- Click on the X in the upper-right corner to return to Alexa settings.
Amazon Parental Dashboard
You can block certain apps and set restrictions by logging in to the Amazon FreeTime Parent Dashboard.
You can see a log activity for each device and the kid profile we discussed.
Click on the GEAR icon to open the settings, change the age filter, set daily time limits, turn off the Alexa voice purchasing, and more.
Implementing Voice Match
We all know that Alexa replies to voice commands. Whenever someone calls out her wake word, she will respond to it.
And kids are no exception.
If you have used Amazon devices and Alexa, you will know that you can create voice profiles for Alexa.
This will allow Alexa to reply to the commands of those specific voices.
Now, if you want Alexa to ignore your kid, do not create a voice profile for your kid. Or, if you already have one, delete it.
However, the VOICE PROFILE setting needs to stay enabled.
Disabling it will remove all the voice profiles and make your Alexa respond to anyone’s voice again.
Addressing the importance of setting time restrictions to manage children’s access to Alexa
Setting the time restrictions in Alexa will control your child’s behavior in using Alexa and reduce screen time addiction.
Alexa can access a wide range of content.
Some of them are inappropriate for kids and create addiction.
Setting time restrictions will reduce the screen timing and the addiction of children to these contents.
Alexa is interesting; therefore, she can significantly distract children.
Children would want to chat and communicate with Alexa the whole day.
Setting time restrictions can prevent this distraction and encourage them to get busy with activities like playing outdoor games, reading, studying, and spending time with friends and family.
To restrict the timing, go to the Amazon Parental Dashboard, click the GEAR icon, and set the age limit and time restrictions.
Safe Shopping Practices, especially in households with children
Once children learn to use Alexa, they will try it in all possible ways, for example, watching cartoons, searching blogs and articles, and even shopping.
With Alexa, you have the advantage of voice purchasing, where Alexa will enter the shopping app, search for the item you ordered, and order it.
There have been several cases of kids using voice purchases to buy their stuff from Amazon without their parent’s knowledge.
First, you must turn off voice purchasing.
To turn off the voice purchase, click on the menu in the top left corner and select SETTINGS.
After that, select ACCOUNT SETTINGS and turn off the VOICE PURCHASING.
Note that turning it off means no one can purchase anything by voice commands, even adults. It can be a drawback.
To keep using the voice purchase and prevent your kids from using it, use a 4-digit code.
Only the VOICE MATCH registered profiles can access the purchase by Alexa. That will need the code.
After you click the VOICE PURCHASING, go to PURCHASE CONFIRMATION, select MANAGE, and then VOICE ID.
Here you can turn on or off the profiles according to your preferences.
To turn off the voice purchase through the website:
- Go to the Amazon Alexa website and log in to your account.
- Select ACCOUNT SETTINGS from the left side tab, and tap VOICE PURCHASING.
- Turn off the toggle next to the option.
- If you want to keep it on but stop kids from using it, set a 4-digit voice code option or a passcode to confirm the Amazon purchases and payment authorization.
- Set the code, and it is done.
Using the Mute Button
Every Alexa device will have a mute button. When you press this, Alexa won’t be able to hear any of your conversations or commands.
If you want Alexa to ignore your kid’s voice, you can press the mute button when they are around.
And unmute your device when they are away or asleep.
When you press the mute button, check that your Alexa devices are beaming a red ring light.
Your Alexa device is muted as long as the indicator is solid red.
Once it turns blue, Alexa will start hearing and responding to you.
Discussing the role of parents in educating children about responsible and respectful digital interactions and making Alexa kid-friendly
Parents play a significant role in educating children about the right way to use Alexa.
Alexa can provide lots of kid-friendly content if parents use the correct settings in the Alexa and Amazon apps.
This will make Alexa behave like a kid and communicate with your kid as a friend.
Alexa will only show and discuss kid-related content, jokes, stories, etc.
Let’s see what parents can do to make Alexa kid-friendly:
Kid-friendly Skills and Content
When you turn on the KID mode in your Alexa, you can select and put content types suitable for your kid.
You can add kid-friendly skills and content that can be helpful for your child.
This way, Alexa will become your kid’s friend and start behaving like a kid itself.
You can add your kid’s name, age, avatar, and voice in the KID mode.
So, whenever Alexa hears your kid’s voice, it will start showing kid-friendly content, like jokes and stories, and also give answers to every question they ask.
Customizing responses for kids
To choose the right content for your kids, you must first learn about the skills in the Alexa app.
Go to the Alexa app and select More → Skills & Games → Kids.
Another option is to use the SEARCH feature. Tap the icon in the upper-right corner and type words like KIDS/CHILDREN.
In response, Alexa will provide you with kid-related skills. You can choose anyone you like. Some examples are:
- Animal games
- Amazon math
- Spelling games for kids by Magoosh
- Simple science
- Managing emotions: Big feelings
- Tooth time
- Monster scanner
- Amazon storytime
- Animal Workout
By choosing these contents, your kids will enjoy communicating with Alexa.
Alexa will provide information about these contents whenever they hear your kid’s voice when set in KID mode.
Teaching Proper Voice Commands
When you bring Alexa devices into your house and have a toddler, teaching your kid about Alexa becomes essential.
You must tell your kid how Alexa works and how to use her.
Please share the privacy risks associated with your child, and tell them not to share any personal details with her.
Begin with basics, like teaching them how to pronounce the wake words and how to command and make Alexa perform specific tasks.
If your kid is doing good, use positive responses. Be patient with them.
Teach your kids to be clear and precise while communicating with Alexa.
Only then will Alexa respond with a better answer.
Learning is fun. So, try to make the learning entertaining.
Incorporating Educational Skills that can benefit children’s learning experiences
When you choose content for your kid, you can also select educational and informative content.
- Amazon math
- Simple science
- Spelling games
These can encourage Alexa to provide your child with something exciting and educational whenever your kid asks her something related to it.
Except for that, there are specific Alexa skills that can help your child receive educational guidance, for instance:
- Storytime with Amazon kids: The skill reads bedtime stories to children.
- High-five math: This is developed by a teacher with 16 years of experience. The skill helps in developing a child’s mental math.
- 1-2-3 math: The skill helps children improve
- Word of the day: The skill helps build your child’s vocabulary. Let your child’s day begin with a new word.
- Kids quiz: Quizzes allow children to learn and discover new things.
- Kids jokes, knock-knock, and riddles: As the name suggests, the skill provides your kid with lots of jokes and riddles for fun and laughter.
- Time table battle: It is a fun multiplication game for 6-12 years children.
- My phonics: The app teaches spelling.
- Magic door: This fantastic storytelling skill provides stories with sound effects and numerous characters.
- Animal game: It increases a kid’s knowledge about animals.
Establishing Bedtime Routines to establish and reinforce bedtime routines for children
You can use Alexa to create your bedtime routines with a timer.
Alexa can play calming music, stories, and white noises to help your child sleep peacefully.
Alexa will dim the lights in your child’s room at bedtime.
She can even remind the child to do specific daily chores before going to bed, for example, going to the washroom, praying, drinking milk, having water or medicine, etc.
All you need to do is set a routine and a timer.
Alexa will perform the tasks according to your set routine and timer.
Encouraging Politeness and Respect to use polite language and be respectful when interacting with Alexa
Children will not know how to communicate with Alexa.
So, parents must teach them properly.
There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not to be polite with Alexa.
It is seen that 65% of women and 45% of men have been polite with Alexa.
Some agree to be polite because being respectful encourages Alexa to provide you with polite answers.
On the contrary, some argue that there is no point as it is just a machine.
Users need to be respectful and polite while talking to Alexa.
Being polite with virtual assistants is an excellent way to learn politeness.
Teaching your children to be polite with Alexa is a perfect way to teach the children to be polite and respectful to real people too.
Children will learn from adults. So, when you speak with politeness, children will follow you and speak respectfully with Alexa too.
Being polite with Alexa and interacting with her constantly is fun and exciting.
Having Alexa at home is convenient. But if you have kids, you must teach them how to use them properly. Mischievous kids can misuse Alexa by buying lots of stuff through voice purchasing.
They can come across explicit content while interacting with Alexa. So, it is vital to either make Alexa ignore kids or customize Alexa’s responses and content.
You can create voice profiles where Alexa replies to only the registered voice profiles, keep Alexa mute when not needed, turn off voice purchasing, block explicit content, and pick content through the parental dashboard.
If you do not want to stop your kids from using Alexa completely, you can turn on the KID MODE and PARENTAL CONTROLS. These features will make Alexa behave like a kid, and she can become a friend to your child.
Alexa will share stories and jokes and answer your kid’s questions in a friendly manner. With parental controls, you can control Alexa with screen timing and things Alexa will share with your kids.
Ultimately, the parents must teach their children how to use Alexa correctly and ask her politely and respectfully. This article can help parents and caregivers create a safer, more age-appropriate experience for young users.
What is the function of the DROP IN feature?
The DROP-IN feature will allow users to enter an unsolicited video call to another’s Echo Spot or Echo Show. While it is good for surprising friends and family, it is not good if people use this feature to drop in on unaware kids.
What role does DO NOT DISTURB play in Alexa?
DO NOT DISTURB mode in Alexa can temporarily block the alerts for your calls, messages, and remembers reverberating throughout your house at night for kids. Enable this mode when your kids are sleeping or studying.
Reference: Amazon Alexa Wikipedia