Smart Phones: 5 Parental Controls Every Parent Must Consider
Don’t get mad with them for abusing their smart phones, get busy having a conversation about your expectations. Kids are still kids and kids love working their phones – texting and sometimes sexting. If you can give them unlimited texting, half the battle is won. Not unlimited calling!
BTW, 75% of tweens and teens rank their smart phones as the most important device in their life. They consider their cell phones an indispensable part of their of lives! They use cell phones to socialize, connect, and play. Sounds like the walkman years back.
Unfortunately, some of them are unable to exercise self control with respect to what sites they browse, the sheer ‘volume’ of time they spend on it, and who they talk with over the phones. The list runs from friends, acquaintances to strangers and whoever.
When problems arise, hmmm, they don’t want you the parent to know because their cell phone privileges are at risk of being revoked. That is why many would rather die than tell a parent that someone is taunting, teasing or tripping (cyber bullied) online.
The last time I checked, cell phones are now considered by some families as the best blessing and distressing lightweight gadget a teen ‘s pocket can carry. When used carefully, it can save a life. When used badly, it can get them into trouble for child porn!
If you are having some of these issues with a youth or teen, consider these ideas about parental controls below. BTW, parental controls are not limited to technology. It includes most of the good old fashion wisdom ways from your own parents .
1 Set parental controls feature: Some parents leave this to chance. Not a good idea these days when the kids are smarter with technology. If you are unsure on how to set these controls, get help from your Internet or mobile service provider.
2 Limit photo and MMS capability: Given the spike in sexting and the legal implications of this activity, you may want to limit the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). This is where things can easily get expensive or at worse downright ugly.
3 Time Limitations: Another way to deal with this problem is to set up time limitations that limit the use of the phone during school hours, during meal time and night time from whenever they go to bed. Recently my 15 year in-law received a call from a girl at midnight!
4 Rules of Engagement: It is very important to have a discussion about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. By letting them know where they cross the line on indiscipline, you help them grow with an understanding that you are nice, but not hesitant to point out what is is right.
5 Realtime App Monitor: There are increasingly many apps in the market that will enable you to monitor the way kids use their cell phones. Apps like GogoStat on iphones enable you to know if they are being bullied or if they are bullying some.