Deciding when to allow your child to have a mobile phone is a difficult choice. Children are very tech aware and may be asking you for a phone. If you’re weighing up giving them a phone for emergencies and worrying about what else they might use it for, you’re not alone. But they are ways to keep your child safe with a mobile phone.
A phone tracker app is a great way to keep your family safe and keep an eye on the mobile phone usage. A tool like Family Orbit can be used to track and monitor.
Turn on the location services so you always know exactly where the phone is. This can be used to find your child if they ever go missing or miss curfew, or to find the phone if it’s ever lost or stolen. You can also look back at location history to make sure your kids are where they’re supposed to be.
If you’re worried your child may be dealing with online bullying, you can also use the app to track texts and calls. You’ll be able to check any messages coming in and get peace of mind that the phone isn’t being used to harass your child.
Track the phone’s web history to make sure phone privileges aren’t being misused. If the phone is meant to be for emergencies only, you can be sure your children are playing by the rules and not spending homework time scrolling through Facebook.
Check photos and videos that are taken with the phone camera and are downloaded to the phone are appropriate. One of the big concerns of many parents is that their young teenagers will be pressured into sending inappropriate images. Be sure that isn’t happening by using the tracking app to check what’s being shared.
If you have rules about social media use, you can also make sure the kids are following these by monitoring their app use. See what they’re using and make sure they’re being responsible in the phone usage.
As well as using tools to monitor their phones, make sure you take the time to educate your children about how to enjoy their phone safely, so they can be responsible for themselves. Make sure they understand about privacy, and the risks of irresponsible internet use.
Speak to your children about popular social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Make sure they know how to enjoy the apps safely. If your teenage children are on Instagram, it’s also important to discuss with them how the app makes them feel. The heavily edited images can cause teenagers to worry about their appearance, so it’s important to make them realise that the images they see aren’t realistic.
Teaching your child to use their phone responsibly is an important part of modern parenting. If you’re confident in their phone use, you can feel better knowing you’ve raised responsible children who can contact you in emergencies, and you can always contact too without worrying about where they are.