10 Apps That Help Parents Have Some Control Over Their Kids’ Mobile Use

10 Apps That Help Parents Have Some Control Over Their Kids’ Mobile Use

It is important that kids feel independent and have some privacy with their mobile phones and other devices. However, parents often worry about the amount of time their kids spend in front of the screen and also about other more harmful things like cyberbullying or access to chat rooms, and sites inappropriate to children. Not harmful but why does your 10-year old need to be lured to go into a poker site to get their Intertops poker bonus?

Parents can monitor and limit their activity.  There are many apps and software available, free and paid, to give parents some control over their kid’s use of their mobile phone.  Even very small children may have access to tablets and that can be a scary thing for a parent. New apps are being developed all the time so it is worth keeping up with what’s available.  Children should also be educated from a very early age about social media safety.

How to Track Kids Using Your iPhone

It is possible to track and monitor your children using some of the features in your iPhone. If your kids are like most and carry their iPhone with them everywhere then this won’t be a problem.

Using ‘Family Sharing’ you can track the location of your child. It is very simple. On your child’s phone, go to Settings. Choose Location Sharing and then tap Share Your Location.

There is also a Find My Friends app which will let you track your children.

Tracking Your Child’s Screen Time Using Your iPhone

In order to keep an eye on your child’s screen time you will need to have access to their phone or other device.   On their phone in Settings, turn on Screen Time.   Then you will need to Click on Set Up as Parent.   It is also possible to set up Screen Time through Family Sharing and set limits via your main family device.

There are also many great apps available that you can download which allow you to monitor the things your children may be doing.

10 Great Apps for Parents to Monitor Kids Phone Behaviour

Mama Bear

This app is for social media safety and location tracking. With this app you can monitor Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It lets you know when your children have check-ins, new tags or upload photos. This app is good if you have very young children. You can build a restricted word list so that you will know if any unwanted language or bullying occurs.  Also good if you have teens: For instance, it will notify you when they are driving.

Dinner Time

This is for limiting use during dinnertimes, study time and bedtime.  This app gives you control of your child’s phone from your own device. You can lock or unlock their phone.  However, your child’s phone must be an Android device for this app to work. However your device can be an Android, iPhone or iPad for it to work.

The Dinner Time mode puts a stop to any activity for up to two hours. The Study Time creates a pause for up to 24 hours and Bed Time, allows for pausing from any time you set to begin and then to end. And this won’t interfere with the kid’s alarm clock setting which is great.  The free versions of the app can be used on more than one device , so very useful if you have more than one child to monitor.

Screen Time

There are so many other things that we want our children to do and experience in their young lives.   This app allows you to check how much time your child is spending on their phones. Screen Time lets you, as their parent, decide how much time they spend on their phones or other devices.  You can decide how much time they need for other activities and then set limits.   A really excellent feature on this app is the immediate pause feature which allows you to stop their device instantly.

YouTube Kids

Finding safe, kid friendly and family friendly videos can be a challenge. You Tube would seem, at first glance to be a great source of interesting free material. There are loads of great videos for children. However, because there are many pop-up advertisements and links to other videos with adult material, this makes it a bit risky and unsafe for children.  For this reason YouTube Kids was released. A kid-friendly version of YouTube.  The App also allows parents to have control over what videos or channels are viewed, to set limits on viewing and to keep a check on the history.

Bouncie

This App is OBD connected and tracks your teen while driving and notifies you if they are engaging in risky driving behavior. For instance, it will notify you if they are driving beyond the speed limit.   It will also let you know their location even when parked.

RespondASAP

This is a great App.  Your child is ignoring your calls and you are anxious to get in touch with them.   RespondASAP allows you to basically take over the screen of their phone and set an alarm ringing.  The phone is locked at this point and the child has to call you if they want to unlock it.   Even if you have ‘frozen’ the phone, they are still able to make calls to you or, say, the police, if needed.  This is definitely an App worth having.

Qustodio

This App is for anyone concerned with social media safety for their children and wants some control over how their children are browsing the Web.

This is an excellent App for managing safety issues. Parents are often worried about what their children are viewing and of predators and pornography showing up.  This App will allow you to block and filter content, review websites that your children are accessing.  The free version of Qustodio allows you to check your kids’ search engine use, track her Facebook logins and also set time limits.  The premium version will also allow you to monitor calls and text messages.

Bark

This App is concerned with preventing cyberbullying.

Bullying has always been around but now with the new technology it has a new platform.  There can be very serious emotional consequences for kids and teens but with the growing awareness of cyberbullying parents are becoming more proactive.  Sometimes cyberbullying can be difficult to detect.

Bark examines everything your children are doing online.  It will look at your child’s online history and notify you of anything suspicious.  Parents of bullies will also be notified of their behavior and they will be advised of how to deal with the situation.   Usually, blocking the bully will suffice but sometimes it may be necessary to take further legal action.

Net Nanny Family Protect Pass

This App has all of the features needed to keep a track of your child’s use of the internet. Amongst other things it blocks pornography and other adult content, limits screen time, tracks location and monitors online searches.  It has a useful feature of allowing you to block vulgarity or swear words appearing on web pages.

This App is suitable when there are multiple children and devices to track.  This software system can be used on up to 10 different devices. You can create an individualized profile for each child which will filter content, and limit screen time according to their profile. For instance, child or pre-teen, young adult.

Checky

Checky is an app for our children but also useful for adults.

Our children are completely obsessed with their phones and never put them down.  This free app will track how many times they have checked their phone during the day.  This will make them more aware of their obsessive behavior and may lead to more balanced usage. This app could be a wake- up call for adults too.

Monitoring your child’s safety and perhaps invading a little of their privacy is something that goes with the territory of being a parent.  Many of these apps will help you and your children enjoy the technology of the 21st century and avoid many of the dangers lurking online.

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