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In this world of technology, it is scary to hand over a mobile phone in your kid’s hands. Back in the simple days, all that teens would learn is texting and calling their mates, but now, with the internet in their pockets, they can reach the dark corners of the world wide web easily. Parents are justified to worry about their teens having cell phones in their hands.
A post at HuffPost, explains the fear of giving your kids the first smartphone. The kids and phone are seen as addicted to each other. But it increases the level of concern for the parents. Cyberbullying, sexting, encountering explicit content, and other dangers like these, is enough to make parents worried about handing over the cell phone to their kids. This is why cell phone monitoring for parents is deemed necessary.
A digital wellbeing speaker Dr. Kristy Goodwin says, “We are giving our kids way more than ‘just a phone’ when we give them a smartphone. They have a camera, the internet, apps, and a plethora of other potential dangers when they access a phone.”
When we give them smartphones, they have access to a wide area of information and entertainment. We cannot ignore the advantages of having a smartphone and internet access. It is good to have them in touch with friends and family. Also, they can search for information regarding their homework and studies.
This is one thing to keep in touch with friends and family, it is another to use it for other purposes. There are plenty of opportunities for the kids to shut down reality while getting indulged in the online world. It is not so right to disturb sleep for the use of a smartphone. If kids use cell phones only for social media platforms and gaming only, it is not so great.
Lisa Damour writes about tracking teens’ location in NewYork Times. It is tempting to monitor the kids because parents are too much worried about them. Though the kid is ready to explore new things, it is still really hard for the parents to let them free. But often children feel like they are being tracked for some wrong reason and they consider as a breach of security for them.
Monitoring can no doubt, damage the relationship between parents and kids. Researches have proved that when adolescents start believing that their parents are invading their privacy, they bring more conflicting behavior to home. And, when teenagers resent this, they use technology to hide their online stuff and location from their parents.
An article about using cell phones to monitor teens suggests that tracking kids’ devices might come with some unwanted consequences. And parents should be well aware of those consequences. The kids might end up being negative about their parents once they come to know that they are being tracked.
Moreover, cell phone monitoring for parents seems like a smart choice, but it is not foolproof. It cannot replace the bond and love between parents and kids. If you haven’t developed that love and understanding yet, and you are about to track them, you are in danger then.
If you are going for the option of cell phone monitoring for your teens, here are some steps that you can take to do it successfully.
When you are using a monitoring app, someday they might find out. What will you do then? They will feel heartbroken and all of a sudden their trust in you will be gone. Don’t do that with them as it will have unhealthy consequences.
Have a proper discussion with them where you will discuss why you need to monitor them, and how is it good for them. Make them understand the need for this and tell them that it won’t be forever. Earn their trust first before jumping into monitoring.
Why would you feel like you are the only worried about your teens’ safety? No doubt, it is your responsibility to look after them but aren’t they of the age where they should also have little concern about their safety?
You need to protect them but not make them dependent. You need to take care of them mentally as well. Let them grow and make sure that they are being responsible for the things they choose. You can’t just chase them every time they have some difficulty.
When you make them feel like only you can stop them and you interrupt in their lives, again and again, they might not even perceive wrong as wrong. Don’t suffocate them with your care. Instead, tell them that they need to do this too.
Although parents have all the right in the world to take care of their teens. But they do need some privacy too. Know your limits and be concerned about their privacy. When you know where they are, don’t make assumptions about what they would be doing there at that time.
There are cases in which teens were grounded for going to an unknown place when actually they were just helping a friend finding a lost item. And there are teens who are doing all the wrong things at a safe place but their parents won’t ask because the location seems fine.
No need to jump on their heads all the time. Tell them and make sure that this is just temporary. Tell them that you want them to take care of things on your own but they might need some guidance on their way to that stage.
When they are ready, you will leave the monitoring act and let them be free. This can all happen due to several reasons. You might have seen them getting depressed due to some issues they are facing online. In this case, you can help them at the start by telling them that it won’t be forever. It is just for their benefit.
Safety apps like SecureTeen can help you monitor their call logs, messages, social media accounts, location, and much more. Get help from this app and be a better parent.