It’s easy to step over the line when monitoring a teen’s phone for signs of trouble. How much monitoring is too much? When do you draw the line? When do you dig for more? This guide will help you determine how to monitor phone activity with efficiency for your child.
Determine What Level Of Monitoring You’re Comfortable With
Many forms of monitoring software allow you to toggle various functions on and off. For example, the default setting may allow you to see a teen’s connections and friends on social media, but you might decide that there’s no need to strictly monitor this.
If you’re worried about whether or not monitoring a given piece of information is appropriate, then try taking your emotions out of it. Sit down and write down the reasons you should track that information, then jot down a column of reasons not to and compare the two. If the benefits don’t outweigh the drawbacks, then there’s no good reason to monitor that information.
Then, once you know what you want to monitor, the next step is to sign up for effective and efficient monitoring services like KidBridge.
Set A Schedule For Checking The Reports
It’s not uncommon to want to stay on top of what a teen is doing on their smartphone – but if you’re monitoring them anywhere near as often as most people check their phones, then you’re spending too much time on this. Instead, create a schedule for checking up on their devices while they’re out of the house, and occasionally look in on them when they’re out with friends. Most problems aren’t important enough to require constant monitoring.
It’s a matter of trust.
The exception to this is if your child has shown any warning signs – an intention to purchase drugs, threats of suicide, etc. Teens can – and should be – monitored more closely if you have good reason to believe there’s a problem.
Finally, when talking to your teen about monitoring–lead in with your main concerns. Highlight this as an issue of trust and explain that you think they’re responsible enough to know when you’re looking in on them.
Focus on the Information That Matters
There are some things you don’t need to monitor, and some that you should – for example, teens are known to make bad decision while driving, and if you’re using the tracking technology to monitor their driving behavior, you can focus on teaching them what they most need to know. At the same time, using the GPS to monitor your teen when they’re hanging out with their friends can tell you where they’re actually going and verify the truth of their statements.
One important thing to keep in mind is that even teens don’t always know where they’ll be going. They could very well change their plans in the middle of an excursion and not think it’s a big deal, so try to use good judgment when reviewing what they said on their phone or where they actually ended up going. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to pull up location-based data and research the slang that teens are using. Keeping your focus on the information that matters will help you be discreet and only monitor your teen as closely as necessary.
With monitoring software like KidBridge, it’s easier than ever for parents to teach their children digital responsibility.
Learn more about how to monitor phone activity and other topics by visiting the KidBridge Blog