It can be an exciting time for your kids when they get their first mobile phone, especially if they’ve always wanted to have one of their own. Like most parents, you are probably motivated to give your children their first phone in order to stay in touch with them. You are also worried at the same time, knowing that this digital device can be dangerous when used inappropriately. That’s why it makes sense to use a child monitoring app to oversee how your children are utilizing the phone and to quickly determine if your kids are in danger.
Kids aged 11 to 13 typically start realizing their need to become more independent of their parents. They become more confident about the internet and other digital devices. They also develop their usage habits at about this time.
But it’s a dangerous world out there.
Children have more access to the internet than ever before, mostly because of mobile technology. Pew Internet Project found that kids today as young as fifth-graders already have a mobile phone and that almost three-quarters of American kids aged 12 to 17 have cell phones. Half of those devices are smartphones capable of connecting to the internet and having social media apps on them.
Studies show that 17 percent of tweens received an online message or email with words or photos that made them feel uncomfortable. Almost 22 percent of girls said they posted semi-nude or nude pictures of themselves online, and 70 percent of children between the ages of 7 and 18 accidentally came across online pornography, usually via web searches while doing their homework.
There are many other alarming statistics on the dangers of the internet and digital technology to children. The good news is that having a free parental control app might be able to help you keep your child safe.
What makes parents monitor their child’s first phone?
- The use of dating apps – Tweens and teenagers may start using dating apps on their phones, and this can put them at risk of being stalked, victimized by predators, or bullied.
- Online threats – Cyberbullying is more rampant these days because it is easier for bullies to hide behind their screens and harass their victims with words. Children may also be at risk of being exploited by strangers, or even by someone they know has malicious intentions. The online accounts of your children may even be hacked or compromised.
- Excessive screen time – Kids tend to spend a lot of time using their phones due to boredom. They use it to talk to friends, listen to music or watch videos, or play games. Excessive screen time may be dangerous because of digital dementia. Moreover, it could damage their eyesight in the long run.
The following tips will come in handy when monitoring your child’s phone:
It’s not advisable to install a child monitoring app without letting your child know about it. If they find out, they are most likely to lose their trust in you.
Therefore, it’s important to discuss the matter with your child. Explain why you’re doing it. Here’s what you can do to monitor their phone with a free parental control app effectively
- Talk to your child – Be honest and frank about internet activities and ask them what they are doing with their phones in a friendly manner. You might also want to talk to them about the things they might encounter while using their phones. This is also a good opportunity to advise them to do only good things with their phone.
- Manage your child’s digital devices – Advise your child about which web-connected digital devices they can and cannot use at home, and give them their own user account.
- Make an agreement with your child – It’s important for you and your child to see eye to eye before giving them their first phone. Consider asking them to agree not to engage in certain activities on their phone. You should also advise them not to use their phone at bedtime, during family time, or at mealtimes.
ChildSafetyTrackerApp is a free parental control app that logs application usage and tracks your child’s location. It also alerts you when it detects that your child is in a potentially dangerous situation or when they enter or exit a geo-fenced area set by you.