Get Your Kids' Attention By Unplugging The Router

Having trouble getting the kids down to dinner because they're all busy playing with their consoles, tablets and laptops? A slightly drastic but effective strategy to get their attention is to unplug the household router, rendering all their Wi-Fi connections inoperable.

Kid picture from Shutterstock

I heard this idea suggested by Stefan Haasem from InTechnology at Data Centre World earlier this year (see, conferences aren't just for business types). He noted that it was an effective way of guaranteeing a chorus of protest from four bedrooms: "Dad, it's not working!"

No, it's not a long-term alternative to teaching your children to be agreeable family citizens. However, life is rarely perfect, and extra kid wrangling strategies are always welcome. Got any refinements on this method? Share them in the comments.


    Been doing this for years. Very effective.

    I used gargoyles firmware on my router that allows you to set blocks of time, put on quotas and heaps of other options per machine. Poor grades equals a lower quota

    Or you could just teach your kids some discipline?
    My boy new that when he was called for dinner, fun time was over! And before the new age whiners get on me, I didn't thrash him either! He was taught to respect his elders from the very start. What happened to teaching kids that the parents were in charge of the house not them?

      This is my response to your "fun time was over"

    what a joke, people complain about the younger generation but never consider looking at the people who raised it!!

    A work-around would be to just tether the Internet through your mobile.

    Once saw a photo of a notice posted on a fridge, aimed at the kids who were on school holidays while the parents were at work.

    "Today's wifi password will be revealed once you have:
    -Done the dishes
    - Mowed the lawn" etc

    Pretty good way to do it, I reckon. Kids text you when they're done, you text back the password, if you get home and they haven't really done it then next time make them send you MMSes to prove it.

    Naturally I objected to this when I was a kid, but nowadays I agree with my own parents' strategy: for as long as they were responsible for me, I was only permitted to use "family" shared gear. TV, PC, phone, stereo, whatever. Furthermore, I was never allowed a computer or TV in my room. If smartphones had been ubiquitous at that time, I would not have been allowed to have one.

    Sure, I missed out on a lot of Simpsons and TMNT episodes. But I amused myself by reading, playing with the dog(s), painting Warhammer 40K miniatures and playing with LEGO.

    As a child that participated in a LOT of sport, when dinner was called I would drop whatever I was doing to eat. Always hungry!

    Speaking as someone from the younger generation (21yr old), if its to the point where this makes a difference, then you've got bigger problems. Maybe its time to consider why the kids are so hooked onto the net in the first place? Just deciding that its because "that's what kids do" is lazy parenting...

    Teenagers are resilient and will go without wifi and just watch TV, play single player games etc.
    Better strategy,
    lockable Toolbox (plastic ones are cheap), padlock, electric timer and extension lead.
    Device to timer, timer to extension etc. Set timer to allow use for lets say 1 hour per day between 6-7PM (longer if good - shorter if bad). Lock in toolbox with padlock.

    If you feel you have to do this, then you have big problems.

    3 kids - 3 iPods, lots of fun with minecraft PE, collab creative. Run the server off the PC (PocketMine-MP), when it's time to be on task - kick 'em. It's one of their currencies, and it works just fine.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now