I need to monitor my child’s smartphone: How do I talk to him/her about their digital experience?

Since our kids get their first mobile device, we need to start having technology conversations. Children have to be educated about all the dangers on the Internet since the very beginning: Cyber-stalking, Cyberbullying, Obscenity, Revealing too many data and Child Predators are the most frequent threats children face online. By preparing our children, talking about those dangers and monitoring their iPhones, iPads and/or Android devices with parental controls, we can reduce all the hazards.

This talk is not meant to be a fight or an arguing - it’s the time to build a bond and establish trust between you and your child instead. Take this moment to let him/her know that s/he can trust you and you are trying to keep their online safety and protection.

Your child has to know that you’re not punishing or spying them, you just want to make sure that they will access appropriate content and get the positive aspects from the digital environment. Here is how to have the parental control talk without sounding like a lack of trust, punishment or even spying:

Why am I using ScreenGuide?

Let them know about the plans of using ScreenGuide Parenal Control App as a tool to monitor and make sure they’re getting the best of mobile devices. Parental control doesn’t need to mean that they’re not going to use their devices to play games or etc, it just means that it’s going to help them balance their time. They need to do the homework, go out with friends, play games and spend time with family, so ScreenGuide will help all the family to balance the use of mobile devices.

Remind your children that they will still have their privacy. What you’re trying to do is using parental controls to guide them on using the iPhone and to keep them safe while online. People online can use a fake name, country, gender and steal information from us. We have to help our children to understand this, talk to them about it and start using it.

Although usually, children don’t object over parents using parental controls on their mobile device, talking to them is good for building a bond and establish trust, and children will be more likely to accept the idea of their parents using parental control to monitor their device.

No, this is not a punishment

Managing your child’s device is important and talking clearly with them about it is even more. But should I use parental controls as a punishment? The answer is no.

Instead of letting your kids “lose screen time” for misbehaving, let them earn screen time instead. You can give them screen time or be less restrictive as they’re understanding how to use mobile devices better. Making an analogy of letting them earn their screen time, it would be just like the relationship between a credit card user and a bank. The better the credit card user behave, the more benefits the bank will give to him/her.

ScreenGuide Parental Control App has many possibilities to work this idea of earning screen time. It has the flexibility you need to balance usage, understand how your kid is using his/her mobile device and also analyze trends for the similarly aged children to get some ideas about how children are using their iPhones, iPads or Android devices over there and then give your child directions.

They will learn self-management & time management

We are living in a very dynamic world and being exposed to ads and general information more than ever before. Children and teenagers view 40,000 ads per year only on TV, for example. There is a whole universe inside their mobile device, since browsing online and access social media to educational apps that teach math in a ludic way. Even with this much distractions, children still have to do homework, sleep the recommended time, take care of their nutrition and create good habits, and many other things.

Talking to your child about the benefits of managing their time and life will certainly help you on talking about using parental controls on their mobile device. Just like the item “This is not a punishment”, you can build with them the benefits they will gain in the long-term and use ScreenGuide to schedule when they will be allowed to use the mobile device.

There are many dangers online

The most frequent problems children face online is about Cyberbullying and Obscenity. Help them to understand how those things work, how you’re trying to help them to prevent it and make sure they’re only accessing age-appropriate content.

Using social networks, sharing photos and videos online is so normal to our children that they’re more unlikely to understand how dangerous it could be by themselves. It’s important to teach them how things can go viral and live forever after posted online.

This way, they will be more prepared to get only the good things of mobile devices and will understand better your will to use Screenguide. Let them know that you’re on their side and you’re doing it not because you don’t trust them, but because you don’t trust the other people online.

School Grades are more likely to improve by using it right

Children are still learning to set priorities and understand what has positive impacts on their lives and what doesn’t. Teach them that there is time for everything: to play outside, to do homework, to play games online and to give a break on mobile devices.

Talking to them and guiding them over the course of mobile devices usage is what results in positive outcomes about usage and preventing problems and in teaching kids about digital citizenship.

Let them know that you’re not willing to forbid them from using mobile devices, rather trying to teach them to get the most of it, by knowing the right times to use it and how to use it, in a safe way.

You know what’s better for your child

Today’s world is different from the world we lived in when we were children. It’s needed to use tools to keep our children safe in this new world, such as ScreenGuide, talk to them about the plans of using parental controls, and set regular talks to keep them engaged about getting the best of mobile devices. Although most of the kids will not argue about using parental controls on their mobile device, be firm and let them know that you’re doing it not because you don’t trust them, but because you don’t trust others and you’re concerned about how they engage online. And most important, remember: believe in yourself as a parent. No one knows your child better than you do. Don’t let this be a one-time conversation, rather regular talks at appropriate times to keep supporting them and teaching about how to use it for the good.

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