It can be scary giving your child a phone. Suddenly, the digital world represents a whole new universe of threats in many of the places that we take for granted. We worry about social media threats such as bullying or sexting. So how do you protect your child from these risks? Do you completely lock down their phone, or go through it every day to see just what your child is up to? Do you trust them to make smart choices and to alert you of any issues? What if there was a way to trust them with their privacy while still monitoring their phone for any issues? What if there was a way to use a parental control for text messages on Android phones?
Setting Up Your Child’s Android
It can be tough trying to trust that your child will know what to do when presented with issues on their phone. It can be equally difficult to believe that they will make smart decisions when given free rein on their devices. On the other hand, if you completely lock down their phone, they may resent your lack of faith in them to do the right thing. They may also resent their lack of privacy. Completely locking down your child’s device also means that they do not develop the necessary critical thinking and problem-solving skills that they learn when they have to navigate the online social waters on their own, so what is the right answer? You may be surprised to learn that it is all about balance. Let’s take a look at how to first set up basic parental restrictions on your child’s Android.
If you have an Android device, there are several ways you can set up cell phone parental controls. The most direct way is to go to your settings menu, and then click on the users button. Once there, you have the option to set up a new user account. At this point, you can name this profile whatever you like and set up their own Google account. By doing this, you enable them to have their own apps on their phone, without them getting mixed in with yours. It also restricts their usage on your accounts, especially those that may be linked to your bank account. Once you have their account completed, you can then go to the Play store and set up their downloading restrictions. These can be set for each type of media downloads such as music, movies, books, apps, and more.
Choosing the Right Level of Control
Now that you know how to safeguard your child’s Android, the next step is to decide if you want to set up an app that provides a child phone monitoring solution. It can seem daunting at first trying to decide which app will work best for you and your family with so many options available. Ultimately, only you and your family will know what the right choice is for you, but things to keep in mind is how much freedom and privacy you want your child to have. There are some that completely monitor your child’s every use, message, call, and social media interaction, completely eliminating their privacy. Another option is an app like Jiminy. Jiminy monitors your child’s usage, keeping the details private, while alerting you of any risky or questionable behaviors, providing the perfect light touch needed to allow your child the option to make the right choices when it comes to questionable content, explicit material, or even bullying.
Sometimes the best control we can provide for our children is trusting them to do the right thing, having the right conversations with them, and using a light touch with parental controls and text messages on Android.