Ultimately, you are liable for your child’s behavior as a parent, but you are not in control of their behavior.

Not long ago, there were more stay-at-home parents, providing a social network to keep an eye on kids. According to Pew, in 1977, 40 percent of mothers stayed at home, versus 20 percent in 2012. As children become less supervised, and as both parents are now working, kids are often left alone with unlimited access to an online world.

Recent research reveals that the average teen spends an average of 9 hours per day on their phones. And children between ages 8-12 spend an average of 6 hours doing the same.

Online harassment and bullying. A whopping 59% of teens say they have been cyberbullied in their lifetime. As result, today’s children often think they deserve to be bullied and are embarrassed to admit to their parents what’s going on with them. Social media monitoring can help parents stay informed about online activities particularly if there have been problems with bullying in the past.

A whopping 59% of teens say they have been cyberbullied in their lifetime. As result, today’s children often think they deserve to be bullied and are embarrassed to admit to their parents what’s going on with them. Social media monitoring can help parents stay informed about online activities particularly if there have been problems with bullying in the past.

Online Predators. This is a big one. Children meet numerous people online, at school, after school, and they have hundreds of contacts. Consider, Facebook. Kids can have 500+ Facebook friends and no privacy settings. Do all these people have good intentions? Predators can literally run a search on your child’s school to find them. Adults can pose as children online and even adults you trust do not always deserve that trust. 

Oversharing. Children and teens sometimes do not have filters when it comes to talking to friends and strangers. Being vulnerable online might attract predators, for example.

Sexting. Sexting is a federal crime. Still, some students collect nudes of their peers just like people used to collect baseball cards. Teens who’re dating can be pressured to share nude photos to keep relationships going. These photos seem innocuous at the time, but there’s always the risk that the relationship goes south, and photos are shared in retaliation. This behavior relates back to the teens acting emotionally rather than rationally about relationship dynamics. 

Inappropriate content. Toddlers play with cell phones these days. The internet has all kinds of content and some of it is rather adult in nature. Blocking or monitoring content can help make sure important conversations are had beforehand. Sites to consider blocking are all sites that contain sexually explicit content, racist or sexist content, or those that might intentionally or unintentionally glorify drug use or self-harm.

Addiction. You might want to limit screen time or schedule screen time particularly if your child is not getting enough sleep. Children spend more time on devices than playing outside or doing homework. Also, apps that contribute to addictive behaviors can be blocked on their phone. 

Speeding. Some apps can monitor how fast the phone is moving and can send alerts if the speed exceeds a set limit. This seems like a prudent feature for new drivers.

Spending real money on virtual trinkets. Some children should have apps blocked that connect and spend money from credit cards associated with the app store. There are apps that allow gambling and also apps that charge to continue playing. These apps are often exploitive.

Dangerous apps. Kik and Whisper are examples of apps that can be dangerous. Kik makes it difficult to identify the sender and receiver of messages and is used to protect the identity of a predator. Whisper is a site to anonymously share secrets, but it also has location-based grouping. This is used as a tool by predators. There are many other apps that are similarly dangerous.  

Your child keeps losing their phone. Knowing where a phone is can save a lot of grief and some money. 

You made a contract with your child on phone use and you want to enforce it. If you have made a contract on how or when a teen or child will use a phone or computer, using a tool might help reinforce the terms of the agreement.

Want to start monitoring your child’s phone now? Get a free month of KidBridge by Parentology to read their texts (both current and deleted), track location, see browsing history, review contact lists, and more.

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