Parenting now has become a smartphone debate not just with kids but with other parents. How much time should my kid spend on their tablet? What's the right age to buy my kid a phone? What screen-time rules should I implement? These questions have turned into a debate. If you are wondering when to start setting up parental controls to limit access to technology, now is the perfect time.
Despite built-in parental controls on apps, tabs, and iPads, young children still spend 2 hours per day on their screens. Depending on their age, kids can easily get around the digital parental control limits and access inappropriate content on the web or even cause self-harm. They may end up sharing personal information on social media that can become a source of bullying if circulated online.
It is hard to cut off your children's digital media access. If you believe screen addiction is becoming a problem, you can exercise aggressive parental control tactics. Stephen Balkam, the CEO and founder of the Family Online Safety Institute, says the best parental control is talking to your kid, and that's what we couldn't agree more!
Every child and teen is different, and there is no one-size fit to keep your kids safe online, but here is what you can do:
The Online Privacy Protection Act for Children makes it illegal for kids under 13 to sign up for social media networks and websites that gather user data. Some parents have let their young ones sign up for Facebook Messenger since it is meant for kids between 6 and 12 years old.
This app's parental control measures let you check your child's contacts and messages and set time limits. Some health experts and child advocates think it should completely shut down because it can push kids toward smartphone addiction at an early. In short, keep your kids away from social media until they are 13.
Some parents can't imagine leaving their 5-year-old at a friend's place without a source of contact. They want to be able to reach their kids in case of an emergency. Instead of getting them a smartphone, why not get a dumb phone (like a flip phone that lets you call and text only)? They can use it to contact you in case of an emergency.
Using a parental monitoring app is a good idea if your kid has a device that lets them surf the web. They allow you to control a phone beyond the default iOS or Android settings. Since these apps must be installed on your child's device, as a parent, you must consider their privacy, especially if you have older kids.
One of our recommended parental monitoring apps is Xnspy. It lets parents block websites or apps, block the device, and limit the time kids spend on their tablets or smartphones by blocking the device itself. Xnspy's Basic Plan starts from $8.33 a month and allows parents to monitor social media, calls, text messages, web browsing, and tracking location.
You can also pay for the Premium Plan, which costs $12.99 a month, and get access to advanced monitoring features like keylogger and ambient recording. Xnspy is a highly compatible app. For iPhone, no installation is required; you just need iCloud credentials to pair the app with the device you want to monitor.
Parental monitoring apps have enabled some serious snooping. Although parents use them to keep their children safe, if you are dealing with a teenager, then it can shake the grounds of trust in the relationship.
Your kid will feel violated if they find anything online is being monitored. Talking with your kid about using a parenting monitoring app is best. Let them know why you want to monitor them. You can set guidelines on how your kid will use their mobile device and when you will monitor them.
As mentioned above, there is no better parental control measure than talking to your child. Your kid is going to be online no matter what you do. It's better to teach them how to be careful when a stranger tries to talk to them on the web and what they should share on social media.
Talking to strangers and sharing their personal lives online is normal for youngsters. It can happen when playing a video game online or running their Instagram page. Your job is to engage with your kids and tell them how they can be more socially responsible online.
They must know how to respond in the online communities the right way. Most of all, they must know that their self-esteem isn't based on the likes and comments they get on social media. Be a good role model and foster good media habits in them, and they will be okay.