Whilst I believe strongly that you need to empower your children to take charge of their own gaming time limits and safe viewing. There might be times where you do need to set up some electronic restrictions on a computer or gaming console as the result of a child not sticking to the agreed rules. The optimum situation for any family is to agree to set time limits and game classification levels, and have the children responsible for them, with adult supervision. If children try to get around these agreements, which at best, ought to be put up on the wall or fridge for reminder, just like any other boundaries that are broken you should deal with it the same way as any other broken rule. This way you don’t have to play cyber cop, and your kids will try less to cheat and you will be teaching them responsibility and personal discipline.
Most computers and gaming consoles have some sort of parental controls, the xBox certainly does, and whilst I started using them when we first got the XBox I found that in a short time, I didn’t need to use any timers or classification level controls once my kids stuck to the agreements, which they did with us consistently enforcing the limits and with reminders.
Below is a very handy video made by the Folks at iGEA the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association explaining how to set up the XBox with parental controls. If you Like the iGEA on their Facebook page, you can be informed of some great resources for Australian Parents on their website.