The Right to Protect: Circumstances When It’s Okay for Parents To Spy on Text Messages

spy on text messages

Alicia Kozakiewicz was a victim of an internet predator. She had chatted and texted him for months. When they met in person, he drugged her, beat her, and chained her up in his basement. She was 13 years old.

You wouldn’t think Alexis Pilkington had any problems. She friendly and extremely popular. She was a victim of cyberbullying which led to her suicide.

A group of high school students made a video using their phone that showed themselves in drunken sex acts. Then they showed the video to friends at school. They were reported, arrested and charged with child pornography. In Virginia, where this incident took place, a charge of child pornography could result in 20 years in prison and being required to register as a sex offender.

Statistics show that nearly 40% of teenagers participate in sexting where they send sexually suggestive messages, pictures, or videos to others. They may know that it is wrong but think nobody else will find out. These pictures may be shared with others. Even worse, once they get posted on the internet, they’re there forever. This can definitely affect the future plans of going to college and getting a job.

spy on text messages

The point of all these stories and statistics is to show that we don’t always know what our children do online. These parents certainly didn’t. I suggest that if parents knew beforehand, teenagers wouldn’t be sexting. They wouldn’t become victims of internet predators or cyber bullying.

Controversial Suggestion

The only way to truly know what they are doing online is by monitoring their activity. I know this is a controversial subject, and a lot of people would disagree with me, but it is the parent’s responsibility to know what their child is getting themselves into. This is why parents spy on text messages.

Why Some Parents Will Not Use a Monitoring Tool

On the opposite side of the coin, some parents believe you should not monitor what your child does online because it invades their privacy. It’s also about trust. They want their children to know they trust them.

About Teenagers

Teenagers make dumb decisions without thinking about the consequences. In fact, their brains aren’t even fully developed until around age 22. They have a lot on their mind from trying to understand what’s going on with their bodies to trying to fit in socially with their peers. We have to help them whether they like it or not. I’m all for letting my kids learn from their mistakes but not when it comes to endangering their lives. Not if I can prevent it.

It Does Invade Their Privacy

Parents who feel monitoring is an invasion of their child’s privacy maintain they will trust their child until they are given a reason not to. Personally, I don’t want to wait until they make that mistake. You may find out that your child was texting or being cyber bullied when it’s too late to help them. No, I want to be able to sleep peacefully at night.

You Should Be Able to Trust Them

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe you should show your child you trust them – to a certain point. For example, I will trust my son to go to a friend’s  house as long as he behaves. If he acts like a “bull in a china shop” and is disrespectful to his friend’s parents, he will lose my trust and not be able to go anywhere for a while. If my daughter asks, I will trust her to take my car and go shopping with a friend, but if she’s caught speeding and gets a ticket, she’ll lose my trust and may not be able to drive again for a while. She’ll also find a way to pay for that ticket.

spy on text messages

So, you see, there are plenty of other opportunities to show your child you trust them. But when it comes to the internet, it’s extremely dangerous to give them complete control. Even adults have to be careful to not fall prey to fraudulent emails and advertisements.

The internet has changed our world, and it happened quickly. It’s a way to stay in contact with people or answer questions. No longer do we have to buy a set of encyclopedias for our child to use at home because they can find the information they need on the internet. Parents can do their bills online, shop online, and find good quality entertainment. You can even do your job online. The internet is wonderful in so many ways.

Website, blogs, and social media sites are exploding with growth. Unfortunately, also exploding online are scammers, thieves, and dangerous criminals.

Privacy Policies

Teens want their privacy, but they are not very good about following the privacy policies posted on websites they visit. For example, many will lie about their ages so they can join the site. They give out private information and post inappropriate pictures making themselves prime targets for predators and scammers. They are victims of cyber bullies or may even be bullies themselves.

Research

If you do decide to install a monitoring tool to help protect your child, do your research. There are many types of monitoring apps that can be downloaded to your computer. TeenSafe can be downloaded to any computer with internet, and you can access the information from any computer, such as your computer at work. TeenSafe provides many services including a location tool. You’ll also be able to see your child’s text messages, even deleted ones. You can see where they go and what they do or say on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. The cost is very reasonable, and they offer a free trial period.

So, is a monitoring tool the way to go. A million times – Yes! Just the peace of mind you’ll have knowing your child is safe from internet criminals is worth it.

How to Track Your Kid’s Cell Phone Without Taking it Away

how to track your kids cell phone

Do you remember the computer game, “The Oregon Trail”?

Just like the pioneers, a parents journey to raise well rounded and productive teenagers is a difficult task. The threat of typhus, broken axles, and diphtheria have diminished over the years, but there are new obstacles to overcome. The cyber world is laden with pitfalls and dangers that many teens encounter at some point in their lives.

In today’s society, browsing cell phones expose children to sexting, cyber bullying, and questionable content. Growing up, we could just restart the computer and try again. With the prevalence of the Internet and Social Media, our teens are not given that luxury. This technology leaves parents little choice, but to intervene and prevent tragic outcomes.

Obviously, a parent’s first reaction might be to take the cell phone away. However, many families rely on cell phones to stay connected and informed. The reality is that it might not be practical to take away a child’s phone.

Thankfully, technology has adapted to the changing needs of families and had developed new ways for parents to check a child’s messages. These new developments allow easy communication without depriving the family of cell phone access. Tracking a child’s phone is a solution that enables parents to have a “plan B” or option at their disposal.

Parents can have the best of both worlds when they utilize apps, like TeenSafe, that allow them to check their child’s messages and Internet activity from the convenience of their own phones.

Cons To Confiscating Your Child’s Cell Phone

The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” worked wonders for the toddler sect, but that mentality doesn’t work for the teen scene. Obviously, it is important for a parent to weigh all the pros and cons before choosing a discipline method, especially when it boils down to taking a cell phone. The last thing a parent of a teen needs is for their child to see them waiver or backdown on enforcing a punishment.

If your child has been mishandling the responsibility of cell phone ownership, carefully consider the consequences before taking a child’s communication device away:

  • You wouldn’t be able to text updates back and forth when children are out with friends. It is comforting to know who your child is with, where she is at, and what she is doing.
  • How would your child call for help if there was an emergency? The pay phone is almost extinct and sightings are rare. Cell phones offer a sense of security if you need to locate your teen if there is ever a problem.
  • Teen drivers might need to call if their car breaks down or they get lost.
  • Disconnecting might make it harder to manage a class load and impact grades. Teens may need to check assignments, classroom Twitter accounts, and emails for scholarships or practice times.
  • Removing a phone would isolate teens from their peers. Teens favor texting over real conversations. If your daughter had to give up her phone, her social circle might disappear or shrink.
  • She can still access the Internet to message and play games on other devices. Removing a cell phone will only inconvenience the family.
  • This “authoritarian style of parenting” might cause teens to turn their anger onto you, her parents.

After considering all the negative reasons, it might lead parents to the startling conclusion: the cons of taking a cell phone away are actually reasons to track your kid’s cell phone.

how to track your kids cell phone

Listed below are some ways a monitoring app can allow parents to take a positive hands-on approach for teaching cell phone responsibility:

  • In a realistic setting, parents would be able to see exactly how  a child uses their phone. You would be able to see what sites she visits, who she texts, and if she follows Social Media etiquette.
  • Your teen can build appropriate Smartphone skills with you to guide her.
  • You can keep an eye on a child’s behaviors while they maintain autonomy.
  • Kids would be able to keep updated on school projects, check their bank account, and turn in assignments.
  • Teens would still be able to communicate with friends (and parents!).

How To Track Your Kid’s Cell Phone

After a parent has made the decision to monitor a child’s activity, it is important to follow a few basic guidelines and steps:

  • Inform your child that you will be checking their activity. Be honest and upfront, avoid sneaking behind their back.
  • Install a monitoring app, such as TeenSafe, that allows you to see messages, texts, and Internet activity. Once the app is installed, all you will need to do is check in on occasion to see what your child is doing online. The program runs in the background and shouldn’t interfere with your child’s phone. If you are lucky, you might be able to score a free trial to test the waters!
  • Make a distinction between spying and monitoring. A teenager is probably going to pitch an epic fit when they hear their parents will be checking their cell phone. Remind teens that nothing online is private and monitoring their activity openly is not spying. Tracking is a preventative measure, just in case an issue like cyber bullying would surface.
  • Sit down with your child and look at the messages together. This is especially useful if your child is receiving threats or involved with cyber bullying.

how to track your kids cell phone

It can be difficult raising digital kids when we thought playing “The Oregon Trail” was the crowning achievement of technology. At times it may appear children are consumed by electronic devices, but parents need to know they still have control over a child’s cell phone. Luckily, parents have hours of pioneering determination and experience on our side.

Checking messages and activities behind a child’s back will only create unnecessary conflict. Likewise, removing a phone will cause friction and hinder a family’s overall communication. Parents can bridge this new territory with convenient apps to check their child’s cell phone activity with ease.

How to Stop Cyber Bullying Without Tears or Bloodshed

How to Stop Cyber Bullying

Cyberbullying is more than mean words or actions on a virtual playground. Before kids were armed with cell phones, tablets, and laptops, they could try and settle their differences face to face, countering unkind words with a classic comeback similar to, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Kids on the playground also had the option of walking away and avoiding the bully altogether.

Traditional methods of dealing with bullying often are not effective when it comes to cyberbullying. Available technology makes it all too easy for cyberbullies to hide behind screens and be mean to others, which begs the question: How should parents and kids deal with cyberbullying without unnecessary and unpleasant conflict or confrontation?

Teaching Kids About Technology

Whether children have had access to personal electronic devices like cell phones and tablets for awhile or if they have just gotten their first cell phone, it’s never too early or late to teach kids about how best to use the technology now at their fingertips.

When parents sit down with their kids and discuss the rules and expectations for cell phone, tablet and laptop use, kids understand their boundaries and ultimately that their parents care about what they are doing online.

Online safety guidelines that prevent cyberbullying are similar regardless of the electronic device being used. Parents need to talk with kids about these important guidelines, including:

  • Do not interact with people that you don’t know online. People can create fake profiles to target others or try and get private information from others.
  • Do not give out private information online, including where they live, where they go to school, and their phone numbers. Kids need to know that it is not safe to plan to meet someone that they met online.
  • Keep passwords private. Do not share this valuable information with anyone, including friends.
  • Be aware that what kids do online can hurt other people. Just like on the playground, our actions can have serious consequences.
  • Kids need to know that they should tell a trusted adult about any messages they receive from strangers or if someone posts embarrassing or scary information online.

Preventing Cyberbullying

Parents also need to discuss with their children that because parents are responsible for their children’s development and safety, they will put safeguards in place to monitor what happens with their kids online.

There are many ways that parents can ensure that their child is safe online, especially from any potential cyberbullying.

Set up an online monitoring program. These are tools that can help parents track what their kids are doing online, including social media accounts across types of technology.

Keep a list of any social media or other accounts and associated screen names and passwords. This information can be a condition of allowing kids to use a cell phone on a regular basis.

Set up strong privacy settings. Using the list of screen names and passwords – along with a monitoring program – it is possible for parents to set up privacy settings to protect their children.

Block people when necessary. On social media accounts, it is simple to block certain people from accessing a person’s accounts in any way, including viewing, posting, or sending messages using those outlets. Phone numbers can also be blocked easily on cell phones to prevent calls or texts.

Communicating With Kids About Online Behavior

Open communication is the cornerstone of helping parents prevent their children from being involved in cyberbullying. It is essential for parents to discuss their expectations, boundaries, and responsibilities required when a child receives a cell phone to use. A thorough cell phone contract can also help parents set up these expectations as well as prevent cyberbullying before it even happens.

The 1st Annual Safeties: TeenSafe’s 25 Top Teen Parenting Blogs of 2014

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Parenting a teen is something you shouldn’t have to do alone – and if these posts from around the web are any indication, there’s plenty of advice to go around!

This year marks our first annual “Safeties”, the top 25 blog posts from the year that inspired us, made us laugh, or just reminded us of something important when it comes to parenting teenagers.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

On Parenting Teens, by Jen Hatmaker

Few people deal with children more than elementary school teachers do – but Jen Hatmaker found that she wasn’t completely prepared for what is like. In her post On Parenting Teens, Jen gave an honest look at what it was like to raise a teenager and offered some advice to parents who are currently dealing with the little ones.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

The Emotional Whiplash of Parenting a Teenager, by Lisa Damour

One of the biggest struggles as a parent is dealing with the emotions of being a parent – whether it’s the mood swings, the sudden outbursts, or your own desire to stay away from a teen, there’s always something going on, and Lisa Damour took a look at this while offering some keen advice on dealing with the stress.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Parenting Teenage Boys: Not For The Faint Of Heart, by Denise Cortes

If you search the web for advice on parenting one specific gender, one truth becomes clear: the other gender is always easy to parent. Still, Denise Cortes has made a solid case for the way that raising boys isn’t for the faint of heart, pointing out that teenage boys really aren’t that far away from becoming men in their own right. Still, we’re not taking sides in the gender war, especially because of…

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram, by Rachel Simmons

You probably already know that we fully support monitoring a teen’s communications to get a better sense of what they’re dealing with – but Rachel Simmons made some excellent points when she introduced what girls are really thinking on Instagram.The key point to take away from her lesson is that you can’t just read a message – you have to understand what that message means to a child if you’re truly going to parent them effectively. Supporting Ms. Simmons’ post was another one we read this year…

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

The Most Important Thing You Can Teach Your Daughter, by Sophia Nelson

Teenage girls who constantly evaluate themselves and question their worth – that is, all of them – will learn many lessons from you over the years… but it’s important to focus on the most important lessons. Teens of either gender who are confident in themselves will be far better placed to succeed in life – and girls in particular may need a few extra lessons in self worth during their toughest years. 

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Helicopter Parenting: Why It’s Not Good for Your Teen, by TeenLife

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find out precisely who wrote this valuable blog, and that’s a shame – it’s a very valuable piece of advice on the problems that Helicopter Parenting can cause for a teen. It’s not always easy to step away from the child – which is one reason we’ve previously stressed the importance of understanding when you should step in and when it’s best to back away.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Take it to the Table – Using the Kitchen Table to Connect With Your Kids, by Teachable Moments

We’ve all heard of taking it to the mat, but taking it to the table instead is a surprisingly powerful way of connecting with teens of any temperament. It’s far too easy to get caught up in technology these days, especially at the dinner table – but setting aside a point in the day to be together as a family can help hold you together regardless of what else is happening.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Want More Stress In Your Life? Try Parenting A Teenager, by Patti Neighmond

Stress is a real problem for anyone parenting a teenager, as Patti Neighmond noted when she worked with NPR to study the amount of stress in the lives of parents. Even the most prepared parents – those who have already raised teens – often have difficulties when it comes to managing the stress… driving home just how important it is to manage your life and be sure you’ve got everything under control.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen, by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Discipline is one of the hardest parts of being a parent – you don’t want to be so nice that punishments aren’t taken seriously, but you don’t want to be so firm that the kids start to hate you. Margarita Tartakovsky talked about this in a discussion on Psych Central, offering some outstanding advice for disciplining a child properly.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

15 Sites and Apps Kids Are Heading to Beyond Facebook, by Kelly Schryver

We can’t recommend this post enough. Kelly Schryver’s research on the latest sites and apps for teens is a critical insight for understanding the mentality of today’s youth – and she thoughtfully included a full description of each item and what they mean for kids. Check this list the next time you go over the apps on your child’s phone – just seeing the names can tell you quite a lot about their current interests. 

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Three Everyday Situations to Start the Conversation with Your Teen about Risky Behaviors, by Christy Crandell

Talking with teens about dangerous behaviors is always hard – in part because the first thing you’ll hear is “Yes, mom, I KNOW”. To help out, Christy Crandell offered some advice on common situations you can use to start a conversation, and these are some great starter points if you’re starting to get worried about your teen’s behavior.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

The Collateral Damage of a Teenager, by Jennifer Senior

Your pantry isn’t the only thing a teenager is going to ransack – they can cause some real damage to the rest of your life if you’re not prepared for everything that happens. Jennifer Senior took a look at this, and the psychological predictions of what you’re going through – and how it relates to your child’s development – are quite astounding.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

OMG! Your teen actually talks to you?, by Kelly Wallace

When was the last time you had a real conversation with your teen? If you’re struggling to start them and wondering why they never say anything, then it might be time to take some advice from Kelly Wallace and learn about how, when, and where it’s best to have a discussion.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Parenting Teens: Am I Doing a Good Enough Job?, by Dr. Christina Hibbert

This is one of the biggest questions that a parent will ask themselves, and one that Dr. Christina Hibbert – a mother of six – had to consider. It’s true that after you do something you know you shouldn’t – like yell at a teen when you know they’re not at fault – you’ll probably start to doubt yourself. Still, a little bit of doubt can be healthy as long as you channel it towards constructive ends – a lesson that’s good for teens and parents alike. And if you think you’re bad, you might want to think about…

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

What Medieval Europe Did With Its Teenagers, by William Kremer

They say that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, and you can always threaten your child with a bit of history if they really need it. The Middle Ages could be quite creative when it came to handling problem children, and let’s face it – experiences (of any kind) can help a troubled child mature. And if that won’t work, you can try…

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

A New Trick to Parenting Teens, by Kathleen Buckstaff

Getting a teen to do what you want doesn’t have to be difficult, and that’s all we really want to say on the subject. Trust us – the most surprising things can also be the most effective, and we’d like to personally thank Kathleen Buckstaff for sharing this gem.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Latest School Shooting: What Causes a Teen to Snap?, by Beth Greenfield

On a more sobering note, tragedies continue to happen within our nation and around the world, often from the people nobody ever expected to go wild. Beth Greenfield took a look at this, and this information is something every parent should understand. This isn’t funny or entertaining – at all. However, it is important, and that’s why it made it to our very first set of Safeties awards.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

3 Best-Ever Discipline Tactics that Parents of Teenagers Need to Know, by Kami Gilmour

Following along with Kathleen Buckstaff’s ideas – and because we could all use something a little lighter after #17 – Kami Gilmour offers three more tactics for getting teens to listen. If there’s anything these experts are teaching us, it’s that you don’t need to be Drill Sergeant Nasty in order to get a teen to behave. A little creativity can make all the difference.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

What Parents Need to Know About the Teenage Brain, by Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

Teenagers do the craziest things – and some of it really is because they don’t know better. The science of the brain’s development is a major part of understanding why teens do what they do, and being able to talk about your teen with this can help the two of you reach a better level of understanding.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Teenagers’ Advice to Parents of Teenagers, by Rachel Jones

Speaking of understanding, your teens have some advice for you. That doesn’t mean you should listen to their advice without a good reason, but understanding where a teen is coming from can help you begin constructive conversations and avoid the kinds of misunderstandings that just turn teens away from you.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Gameplan for Positive Parenting Your Teen, by Dr. Laura Markham

It’s easy to forget the positive aspect of being a parent. When you’re stressed out and worried about what crazy thing they’ll do next, there isn’t always time to keep looking on the bright side, but Dr. Markham gave us a gameplan for doing things the right way from the very beginning. There’s no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to dealing with teens, and this comprehensive list makes for outstanding reading.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

13 Tips for Parenting a Teen with ADHD, by John Mersch, MD, FAAP

Children with special needs of one kind or another are more common than any of us would like – and understanding what’s different about raising teens with ADHD can help you avoid frustrating yourself by things the experts know are doomed to fail from the start. Even normal teens may benefit if you use some of these tips, making this list a valuable one to check.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Parenting Teens: 5 Ineffective Things to Avoid Doing, by Megan Devine, LCPC

It’s also important to remember what not to do, as Megan Devine reminded us. Among the major points she makes is that what really matters is doing what’s effective, not what we’re told or what we think is the “correct” way to parent. Kids have very diverse personalities, and understanding how to avoid ineffective behaviors will make a real difference in your parenting style.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

7 Universal Truths About Raising Teenagers, by Chris Jordan

This is a great list if you’re just about to start raising a teen. Being honest with yourself is an important part of parenting, and whether you’re focusing on teaching life lessons or going shopping, there are some truths that are worth learning.

Teen Parenting Blogs 2014

Parenting Teenagers is Exasperating, by Rhoda Sommer, L.C.S.W., B.C.D., A.C.S.W.

Last but certainly not least comes a reminder from a woman whose credentials in this field are truly impressive. Teens are fun, wonderful, exciting, unpredictable, creative, hilarious… and so incredibly exasperating. On the bright side, knowing that it’s coming is the best way to prepare, and Ms. Sommer was kind enough to share some excellent pieces of advice on dealing with the things teenagers will put you through.

These talented men and women have contributed some of the most insightful and valuable information on raising teenagers this year. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mothers and Fathers, please join us in thanking these individuals for the time and effort they spent to make your own lives easier – from the practical to the crazy, their collected knowledge and wisdom has helped to make a real difference for uncounted parents just like you, and we’re proud to recognize them as this year’s winners of our Safeties awards.

What is the Best Smartphone Tracking App for Android?

Best Tracking App Android

Tracking apps are one of the most powerful tools that exist for keeping a child safe – but which ones are actually worth using? Let’s take a look at the features that matter most and find out which apps do things the best.

Tracking Capability

Location tracking is the primary purpose of any tracking app – it tells you where someone went, how long they were there, and what might have happened while they were in a given area.

Popular apps like GPS Tracker Pro focus on this basic functionality, and many of them do it quite well – location tracking is actually one of the easiest apps to program (since it uses features already built into an Android phone), and the main differences are how well the app reports things and what you can do to control it.

That’s where apps like TeenSafe stand out – enhanced controls and functions really do make a difference, and they tend to be much better than the basic tracking apps that even the cell companies offer. In comparison, choices like Find My Friends tend to be a bit lacking – they only tell you where people currently are, not where they were before you logged in to check their location.

If this is your teen, then yes, you probably want to know where they are right now.

How People Are Tracked

GPS tracking is unquestionably the most popular tracking software, but it’s not the only way to do things. Nowadays, people are likely to share information on various forms of social media – from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Vine, it’s entirely possible that people will be documenting their own lives in ways that are helpful for you. Connect is one of the apps that brings all of this social media together and allows you to glance through it on your own time. Seeing somebody in a place they shouldn’t be isn’t quite as troubling if you also see a Tweet saying “Car broke down – mechanic fixing it now”.

Installing the App

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of apps that can track a child – those that are installed normally and those that require you to jailbreak the device. TeenSafe is notable for being able to perform most of its functions without the need to break the device’s normal security protocols – most programs require at least some tweaking in order to function at full effectiveness, and this ease of installation is a major consideration.

It’s also worth noting that the app can be hidden from the one using the phone. This is legal if a child is under 18 – many parents choose to inform their child of the monitoring program, but this is a decision that’s best made on a case-by-case basis after examining the specifics of the app in question.

Teens will immediately notice an icon that’s out of place. Make sure your tracking program is completely hidden before returning their device to them.

Accessing the Information

The least-effective applications require you to physically access an android phone in order to pull up the data on where that phone has been. That’s not very helpful if it’s eleven at night, you’re not sure where someone is, and you want to find out without bothering them. This is another area where TeenSafe stands out from its competition – the location data can be accessed from any computer hooked up to the internet, and this app goes a step further by using a 256 bit SSL encryption system. For those who aren’t technically-inclined, this puts it as close to ‘completely secure’ as modern technology allows – so hackers and stalkers won’t be seeing the same information you are!

This applies to TeenSafe itself as well – many tracking programs purport to provide you with information when their real goal is building up a picture of who your child is and selling that information to companies who can then target your child with advertisement. TeenSafe is literally unable to access the information that’s been secured within its databases – and in a world where you just can’t be too careful, this kind of security is the least you should be willing to settle for.

Final Thoughts on Tracking Apps

There are quite a few choices when it comes to tracking applications. As we explained above, many apps focus on doing one or more things – and the biggest factor in your final decision should be figuring out which app actually does all the things you want it to do. For example, if the only thing you want is the ability to check someone’s current location, then Find My Friends is a pretty good choice.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a secure, comprehensive monitoring package – which is usually the case if you’re dealing with a teen who might not be making the best choices – then it’s a good idea to look for high-quality services like TeenSafe. This is definitely an area where you get what you pay for, and a few dollars a month is all it takes to obtain a robust, secure tracking app.

Finally, remember that new tracking apps are made on a regular basis, and the current app may need the occasional update after Google updates the Android OS. Regularly checking the market for new products can help you be sure that you always have the right app for your tracking needs.

How Parental Controls for Cell Phones Keep Children With Special Needs Safe from Harm

 

Parenting Controls for Cell Phones

When it comes to children bullying other children, the worst victims are children with special needs. Special needs children have disabilities that could be physical, intellectual, emotional, developmental or sensory (visual or hearing impairment). They may or may not be shielded from bullies while they’re at school, but what can be done to protect them at other times?

Research shows children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities (LD) are more likely to get bullied than other children. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are three times more likely to be bullied. Children with diabetes, epilepsy or food allergies may also be at a higher risk for bullying. Kids with allergies may be bullied by exposing them to what they are allergic to, causing a life or death situation.

Bullying at school

Parenting Controls for Cell Phones

Most of the bullying takes place at school, on school buses, or at school related events and can take many different forms such as physical threats, verbal harassment, or written notes that are threatening. Schools are bound by federal law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) to investigate promptly when notified and respond appropriately.

Again, the school officials must investigate promptly when notified. This is where the problem gets worse. Some of these children cannot appropriately communicate that they are being bullied. They lack the motor skills or cognitive capacity to do so effectively.

When special needs students are not working one on one with a teacher, they are in regular education classes throughout the day. The bullying can happen at this time, at lunch, or on their way to lunch or class.

More Opportunities to Fit in

Parents of special needs children want them to have as many opportunities as possible. That’s why when their child get into middle school they may consider purchasing a cell phone for him/her. Studies show most kids between the ages of 12 and 17 own a cell phone.

While special needs’ parents want their child to fit in as normal as possible, they are reluctant when it comes to purchasing a cell phone for their son/daughter for legitimate concerns. You will need to decide if your child is ready and responsible enough to have a phone. Everyone is different. You have to decide what is best for your child based on his/her abilities.

Some Tips

The following are some tips for parents who are considering purchasing a cell phone for their special needs child:

  • Make sure it is an Android. You can get better safety apps with this one.
  • Set up and use parental safety controls so that your child cannot call someone past a certain time or purchase apps without your permission. Remove any apps that are inappropriate or those you do not want them to have such as Facebook or YouTube.
  • Download a monitoring app like TeenSafe that will help you track their location.
  • Learning to use a phone is tough for some special needs children. Be patient with them.
  • Involve your therapist. See if using the phone can be a part of their therapy session, if appropriate.
  • Allow them to have friends’ contact numbers programmed into their phone. This may help with socialization skills. Talk to them about who their friends are and use your intuition to learn who may not really be such as good friend.

Why You Should Buy

Should you buy your special needs child a cell phone? About.com lists several reasons why you should.

  • The number one reason is safety. One parent had this to say about it. “For a kid who may have issues with bullying, participating in an after-school program, or bad weather forcing schools to close early while parents are at work, etc…having the ability to call a parent is priceless reassurance for a teen with special needs (and Mom too).”
  • Another important reason to buy your special needs child a cell phone is that it helps teach them responsibility. They learn they must not leave their phone anywhere. If it gets lost or stolen, they will learn it may not be replaced. They learn natural consequences. You can use it to teach them social skills, like when or when not to call or text somebody.
  • An additional reason to give your child a cell phone is not only will they have a source to get in touch with you, you have a way of getting in touch with your child.
  • It can be used as a reminder. Most cell phones have a calendar feature. They can enter appointments, schedule class times, birthdays, and much more. An alarm can be set that will remind them when something they entered comes up.
  • It can be used for amusement. They can play, call, and text their friends while they are waiting for you to pick them up from school or a friend’s house. It’s their best friend when you’re travelling or stuck in traffic.

What to watch out for

All parents who have children with phones must know how to monitor them. Having a cell phone could be another way your child will be bullied. Most phones have the capability to go online or text. A child who goes online and harasses or threatens another child is a cyberbully. In a survey of over 12,000 individuals, ages 14-24, half of them reported to being cyberbullied.

We know the effects of bullying, but cyber bullying can be extremely dangerous for these reasons:

  • Cyber bullying is permanent. Offensive material is typed, videoed, photographed and it is almost impossible to remove it once it hits the internet.
  • A cyber bully has a much bigger audience online which can cause the bullying to escalate, causing greater humiliation for the victim.
  • The victim may not know the cyber bully. Bullying online makes it harder to find the person who is doing it. It may even be someone the victim doesn’t know.
  • A cyber bully can follow a victim anywhere and for as long as they want. The victim may feel unsafe.

A victim will not always tell someone they’re being cyber bullied. The cyber bully may have threatened them in some way not to do this or the victim may feel ashamed and embarrassed. A special needs child may not be able to adequately explain what’s going on or may be scared to tell.

What can a parent do?

What can a parent do to help keep their special needs child safe when they have a phone? The answer – install a monitoring device. There are many monitoring apps being marketing, but TeenSafe has the most advanced technology.

Monitor Their Online Activities

Do you want to know what your child is texting or what’s being texted to him/her. With TeenSafe monitoring you can. You can go to any computer with internet access and pull up their conversations. Not only that, if you want to keep up with your child’s location TeenSafe’s monitoring tool for Androids can help you with that. TeenSafe also monitors Facebook and Instagram, so you can see you child’s activities on those, as well.

Most importantly, make sure you talk to your special needs child about bullying and being bullied online. Make sure they know they can come to you if they or someone they know becomes a victim. Buying your special needs child a cell phone can be a positive experience.

Accidentally Complicit: How Parents of Teenage Girls Enable Social Bullying

Social Bullying

Do you remember a time where you witnessed “mean girls” in action?

I can- I was standing in line to order a large Diet Coke and some french fries. For some reason, even though I was in highschool, I remember the incident with clarity.

It occurred after an out-of-town volleyball tournament and our team’s bus had joined several other schools at the only local fast food joint. We were all there to grab something to eat, besides popcorn and pickles, before making our journey back to our homes. It was late and all of us were starving.

It might have been the hunger or delirium setting in from digging serves all day, but I found myself watching a handful of girls ostracize their teammate. The rival team sat around a large booth- all except one. Isolated on a small table across the aisle, one girl was left to eat her hamburger alone.

The group of girls were tormenting her, making fun of how she ate mustard on her burger and how nobody drank 7-Up anymore. I still cringe as I envision the lone girl sitting there, with no where to hide or a friend to lean on. It was truly disheartening, and I still think about her as I drive past those golden arches as I make my way home to visit family.

For the first time, I was able to clearly see the impact of social bullying. I believe the reason I noticed the situation had to do with the fact that I was removed from the act. Sometimes it takes an outside view to really see what is happening and that night I was merely an observer.

Accidentally Complicit

Many years later (don’t ask how many, but I did graduate when Clinton was President), I am now witnessing my children deal with this social epidemic of bullying.

As a parent, it is easy to overlook a child’s faults or misguided behaviors and rely on logic or reasons that enable children to bully. We don’t want to see our girls turn into “mean girls”- in our minds they should always be our sweet little darlings. However, it is vital that we are aware of how they treat others.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the best parents can overlook undesirable personality traits or demeanors in their children. It is easy to be caught with our blinders on, because being objective is difficult. Even more so if your child is involved in bullying behaviors.

Parental Excuses That Encourage Social Bullying

An article from the Huffington Post, recently shed light on the role parents may play in social bullying. The author, Whitney Fleming, brings up a valid concern of the way parents react to a child’s behavior. These excuses enable our daughters to become mean girls by rationalizing their mean conduct.

“Let’s stop making excuses for our daughters. Let’s start raising them up by not accepting excuses for putting others down,” states Whitney Fleming.

Fleming suggests that children need to be raised, not managed. The more excuses parents make, the more likely it is that the problems will continue and intensify. The article suggests that there comes a time when parents need to honestly examine a child’s behavior and address the situation. These events are great opportunities to learn lessons that will  eventually help your child grow into a caring adult.

According to Fleming, here are five common justifications parents might make for their daughters:

  • Your daughter doesn’t seem to be interested in being part of the group anymore, so my daughter and the rest of the girls just don’t talk to her as much. Not everyone has to be best friends.
  • My daughter said it really wasn’t that big of a deal — and shouldn’t the girls work it out on their own?
  • It’s not my daughter’s fault that your daughter is so sensitive.
  • It wasn’t really my daughter being mean, it was her friends.
  • Girls will be girls.

Struggling with peers is a normal development phase for adolescent children. I admit that I have rationalized my own child’s behavior with “kids being kids” and “children need to learn to handle this on their own”. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult part of growing up. However, adults need to educate children to understand when their comments and actions cross the line into bullying territory.

Social Bullying

The author points out to her readers, “Let’s stop making excuses for our daughters. Let’s start raising them up by not accepting excuses for putting others down.”

The parent’s role is a very important aspect when it comes to curbing social bullying. We typically focus on the victims and bullies, but adding parents to the equation might help address this issue on a larger scale. The task of raising daughters that are beautiful on the inside is daunting, but it can be done.

Here are 3 ways parents can up their game and help end “mean girl” behavior:

  • Stop making excuses and help kids understand why it is wrong to treat people rudely. Make children aware of how their words and actions can affect people- sometimes a little enlightenment will go a long way.
  • Teach children empathy. Children need to be taught how to treat people with dignity and respect. Volunteer, talk about emotions, and model the correct way to interact with the world around you.
  • Monitor social media and Smart phone activity. Cyberbullying is prevalent and extremely harmful to a teen’s self-concept. It is easy to leave hurtful posts or comments when you don’t have to look your victim in the eye. Use apps or check in on their activity to make sure your daughter is minding her social etiquette.

In a society that is ripe with bullying and sad outcomes, it is never too late for parents to examine their role in social bullying.

I was naive all those years ago, when I first encountered mean girls. Although, I was planning my dinner order- I was served an objective glimpse into the world of girls who were experts at sharpening their cat claws and pouncing on their prey.

Please don’t wait until it is too late: opening your daughter’s eyes to how their actions and words impact others is a great start to combatting social bullying.

8 Reasons Why An iPhone Spy App is for Slackers

iPhone Spy App

Phone monitoring is one of the laziest ways to parent a child that our society has yet invented. In fact, we went looking and found eight ways to demonstrate beyond any shred of doubt that spy software is the ultimate in no-effort control of a child.

  1. Slackers Don’t Follow Their Teens Everywhere

“All right, I see he’s hanging out with Phil, Jacob, and… who’s that other kid? Is that Bobby? Nobody told me Bobby was going to be here today… I’d better call his mother right now.”

For most parents releasing their teens out into the world for the first time evokes one instinct.  Follow them everywhere.  Sure, they said they were just going to watch that new Superhero movie with their friends, but what if they’re really looking for some horrible slasher film… or not even going to the movies at all?

A loving, committed parent takes the time to stalk their child everywhere they go.  Yes, it’s a lot of work, and that’s probably why lazy parents prefer a spy app that just tells them where their child is at all time.  If the GPS locator says that a child isn’t in the theater when they should be, then they know something is wrong.

But come on, why trust technology when you could just camp out for hours, watching the door in the hope of catching your son or daughter as they try to slip away?

  1. Slackers Don’t Want to Watch the Screen

Just about every device in the world comes with beeps, buzzers, and whistles that provide all sorts of information to whoever owns the phone. In fact, we found that some parents are so lazy they actually set up individual ringtones for alerts about their child’s behavior.  They can’t be bothered to do a little detective work each time the phone rings.

Worse yet, they pre-set the program to notify them whenever something goes wrong.   I guess they don’t care enough for their child to stare at the screen all day!  This is the hallmark of a parent who truly doesn’t want to put in the extra effort.

  1. Slackers Don’t Want to Pay

You know what they say: Money doesn’t grow on trees. It doesn’t grow on cars, either, and far too many kids are so obsessed with their phones that they literally cannot focus on the road. Studies prove it.

The slacker’s spy app is actually smart enough to know when a child is texting while driving – it’s probably something about going 60 while typing.  If you ask me, that sounds like cheating.  Dedicated parents have no problem dishing out $5000 in auto repairs, so long as their sweet angel never has to wait to text.

  1. Slackers Aren’t Resourceful

Did you know that most “deleted” messages aren’t actually removed from a hard drive? They may not be referenced by the software anymore, but the information itself usually remains on the disk until it’s written over by something else.

A truly dedicated parent takes their child’s iPhone to a specialty shop to be examined with NSA-grade technology. Slacker parents just get copies of every message sent on the phone, and store each one in a place where the child can’t delete it.  Where’s the challenge?

  1. Slackers Are Afraid to Make a Scene

Let’s say your child is away from him, getting into trouble and doing something on their phone they know they shouldn’t be doing.  You’ve told them over and over but they do it anyway.  How do you stop them?

Involved parents will jump in the car anytime, anywhere, and drive right to their child’s locations (or preferably they’re already there because they’d been trailing them for hours).  They confront the child with an embarrassing scene until they are able to secure the phone and lock it up in a vaulted underground safe.  It’s the only way these kids learn.

Slackers, on the other hand, just send a remote shutdown command to remind the kids that they are being watched and abuse isn’t going to be tolerated.  The kids still recognize the

  1. Slackers Don’t Want to Argue

“No, mom, I wasn’t making that three-hour call at two in the morning! That was after school!”

“Well, Timmy, the timestamp says you were on your phone in the middle of the night… and you have a test today!”

It can take an expert to parse through every lie a child tells you – probably because they’re lying all the time. Time stamps are the lazy parent’s solution to these problems, since all they have to do is check the ongoing activity logs and find out what their child did and when they did it.  Sound like those parents are too lazy for three hour arguments.

Seriously, though, can you really call yourself a parent if you’re not getting up five or six times in the middle of the night to check your child’s bedroom for that tell-tale glow? Shame on you, slackers. Shame on you.

  1. Slackers Don’t Want to Babysit An Adult

Real slackers don’t just look to get out of work – they try to work as little as possible, and that includes thinking long-term. It’s far easier to stop a problem while it’s small instead of allowing it to grow larger and larger, which is why so many slacker parents have taken to using spying applications as warning signs that alert them when their child is getting into trouble.

Committed parents see no problem financially supporting a child well into their 40s.  Lazy parents just prefer their kids to stay focused when they’re young so they can take care of themselves once they’re grown.

  1. Slackers Don’t Want to Match Wits

Children are some of the most inventive beings on the planet. They can – and will – put an astounding degree of effort into hiding everything they’re doing from you. Slackers aren’t interested in dealing with a child’s creativity head-on – they just cut right to the heart of the matter with ironclad evidence to support their establish boundaries. It’s maximum reward for minimal effort – stifling a child’s creative delinquency through a spying app is the unmistakable sign of a slacker.

iPhone Spy App

Are you a committed, hard-working parent.  Are you willing to show up at the principal’s office day after day?  Will you interrogate all of your kids’ friends to find out who the bullies are?  Will you run a grass-roots PR campaign for your teenage daughter’s pristine reputation when her racy selfies are circulating the web?  Will you bail your son out of police custody at 3 AM on New Years?

Or are you one of those lazy bums, who pre-empts those life experiences with “proactive parenting” and an iPhone Spy App like TeenSafe?  Because let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, good parenting is pretty lazy.

The Potential Consequences of Cyberbullying: It Comes Back On You

Consequences of Cyber Bullying

Recently, a headline on my Facebook feed caught my attention. Nestled among updates and silly quizzes, I discovered a scary scenario many parents will soon be facing.

The article describes how an appeals court in Georgia is holding two parents liable for the actions of their son, who had spent over a year cyberbullying a classmate. He and some friends created a fake Facebook profile and taunted their classmate with manipulated photos, vile posts, and degrading comments. The parents have been prosecuted and held accountable, because according to the lawyers, they did not step in and stop the situation.

Holding parents accountable for their child’s bullying is a frightening and sobering reality many parents need to face. It might be easy to rationalize a child’s bullying tendencies as “kids being kids” or just a phase. However, parents need to be aware that a potential consequence of cyberbullying could come back onto them and land them in hot water with the law.

A Call To Action For Parents

Cyberbullying is a new epidemic facing the youth of today. According to recent bullying statistics, over 55% of all teens who participate in social media have witnessed cyberbullying. Another 52% report being victims with 33% of them being threatened online. The evidence is mounting that something needs to be done to snuff out this problem.

Parents, schools, and communities are stepping up and looking for ways to combat bullying and stop this new trend from escalating. Approximately 36 states have legislation against cyberbullying, but they remain unclear about the liability facing parents regarding their children’s harassment. According to the Dallas Morning News, another lawyer in a different case was advocating criminal charges against the parents of alleged bullies of a Florida child.

This is not a new strategy, many cities and towns across the United States are passing ordinances that hold parents responsible for their child’s bullying behaviors. This practice allows the local government to step in when issues arise. City officials can seek prosecution when the higher forms of government have no legal course of action to follow. An example of this can be found in Monona, Wisconsin where parents are fined $114 for their child’s bullying behaviors- it sends a defined message of bully intolerance.

Consequences of Cyber Bullying

Without a doubt, keeping children safe is a hard job for the modern parent. Thankfully, involved parents can buffer online threats and stop the attacks.

Listed below are some tips to use to help avoid cyberbullying:

  • Look for warning signs a child is involved in bullying. They could be being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying. Unfortunately, many kids won’t ask for help so it is vital for parents to look for behavioral or emotional distress. Play it safe and intervene, especially if a child shows an immediate risk of harming himself or others.
  • Define bullying behaviors to take steps in the right direction. This will allow parents to respond to bullying in a timely manner. A lot of times cyberbullying will contain nasty lies, mean comments, fake profiles, and rude commentary towards one person. Having a clear understanding of what constitutes bullying will help you know when a child has crossed the line. Stepping in early can prevent a lot of heartache later.
  • Formulate a plan to handle cyberbullying with your child. This form of bullying typically comes with its own unique set of circumstances and requires a special response. Have a child save the offensive remarks, notify a parent or teacher, and refrain from commenting on mean posts. These are all good ways to handle social media threats.
  • Be aware that victims can also embrace cyberbullying. This is an unfortunate paradigm shift, but on occasion, role reversal does occur when a child tries to fight back. Dig a little deeper and really understand the dynamics of what is happening.
  • Document acts of cyberbullying. This will help families communicate with schools or officials regarding the problem. Save threatening emails, take a quick screenshot, and keep a log of cyberbullying behaviors. It will help build a solid case if further intervention is needed.
  • Seek support from the school or community to help children who are involved in bullying. Working as a group will open up communications and draw attention to the negative consequences surrounding cyberbullying.

Protecting Families Against The Consequences Of Cyberbullying

Bullied children are no longer able to find a safe haven at home or remove themselves from the onslaught of degrading posts. The 24/7 connectivity the Internet and Smart phones provide, can quickly turn a few snide comments into a raging case of bullying. Thankfully, informed parents and a few proactive measures can help keep the effects of cyberbullying from coming back to haunt your family.

Here are a few strategies for parents to help protect themselves and their children:

  • It is important to know a child’s online activity. Know which social media sites and apps they enjoy using. Most children wouldn’t be allowed to run unchecked around town with unknown friends- the Internet should not be an exception.
  • Monitor your child’s activity with an app on their smart phones and parental controls for the Internet. Be up front and warn them that you will be watching from time to time, especially if there are signs he is not following social media etiquette.
  • Be informed and visit the sites or apps children enjoy. Yik Yak, Tindr, and more are just a few sites that deserve a second look. Understanding the favored media will let parents develop a stronger sense of what kind of activities a child is exposing themselves to or participating in online.
  • Know a child’s password and “friend” them on social media. Bullying behaviors might be deterred if Mom is watching.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to notify someone if they witness cyberbullying.
  • Inform your child not to volunteer personal information online and be careful what images they send. In 2014, there was an increase in the amount of cyber bullies impersonating others or creating fake profiles. Tell your children to guard their information and only send photos of what they want others to see. Hopefully, this will protect their identities.
  • Typically educators will step in if bullying occurs at school. Parents should be aware of the state’s anti bullying laws and how they address the situation. It may need to be addressed by the U.S. Department of Education or the Justice Department.

Consequences of Cyber Bullying

Parents need to stay on top of bullying behaviors to prevent legal and negative consequences of cyberbullying coming back onto them. The current statistics note that “only one out of every six parents of adolescents and teens are even aware of the scope and intensity involved with cyberbullying”. The potential consequences of cyberbullying are cringe worthy for everyone involved.

As cities jump on the anti-bullying bandwagon and implement laws that hold parents accountable for their child’s online behaviors, it is vital for parents to step up their game. Parents need to actively participate online and monitor their child’s cell phones for signs of cyberbullying.

Social media can fuel this epidemic, or in this case: shed light on the problem and offer a solution.

To Spy or Not to Spy: Phone App Ethics for Worried Parents

Spy Phone App

In this age of cyberbullying and the increasing number of available cell phone apps, parents can feel like it is hard to keep up with changes in the technology that their kids use on a regular basis. Parents, who are legally and morally responsible for the healthy development of their kids, can utilize one of a dozen spy phone apps available to track their children’s cell phones. But at what cost?

What are the ethical implications of a parent’s ability to track his or her child’s cell phone, and what does this action do to the relationship regardless of the good intentions behind it?

Is it Ethical to Track Kids’ Cell Phones?

Parents will never be able to control one hundred percent of what kids do when parents aren’t around, and this is how it should be. The primary task of parents is to work themselves out of the job of parenting by raising up confident, independent, responsible kids who develop into adults with those qualities.

Fortunately or unfortunately – depending on how you look at it – kids require time away from parents in order to develop those characteristics. If parents continue to rescue their kids from uncomfortable or sticky situations, then the kids will never learn how to be responsible and independent on their own. They need opportunities to make mistakes and learn from their experiences.

However, the dilemma is that parents also have an obligation to keep their children safe and provide boundaries that promote learning and growth. Part of this obligation is the process of parents building trust with their kids at each stage of development. Trust is a cornerstone of any good relationship.

Parents practicing trust with their growing children does not mean that trustworthiness doesn’t need to be proven through behavior. If kids say that they have completed their homework, parents are naturally going to want to see that finished homework. And if kids say that they are being responsible on a cell phone that has been entrusted to their care, parents are naturally going to want to see that the kids are, indeed, acting responsibly with the technology they have been given.

Spy Phone App

Parents using a spy phone app to check up on kids can be another step in the development of trust between them and their children. Technology does not – and should not – be separate from the moral and ethical development of children. Rather, the use of cell phones can be another vehicle with which to teach kids about their moral compasses and responsible behavior.

Like other important aspects of social behavior and relationship building, respectful and thoughtful behavior while using technology is an increasingly important skill in our culture. Important considerations for parents to consider include:

  • Creating a cell phone contract. This kind of document spells out the responsibilities and boundaries that come with a cell phone given to a child of any age, including what kind of monitoring will be enforced.
  • Teaching kids about cell phone safety. This behavior involves keeping passwords private and not giving out personal information online.
  • Warning kids about cyberbullying and predators. Anybody who participates online is at risk for attracting those who want to hurt us. Giving kids the skills to deal with these situations now can only help them.
  • Instructing kids about how to treat people. This includes not using the cell phone when around other people, taking advantage of building relationships in person with others, as well as not using the phone to hurt or bully their peers.
  • Providing down time. Keep cell phones out of children’s hands at night. If parents have their kids charge the phones in a specific place each night, then parents can use that time to take a quick look.

Instead of being afraid for what trouble their kids might get into and overdoing cell phone monitoring, parents can actively teach their kids about the benefits and pitfalls, preparing them for the practical and moral responsibilities that come along with this privilege.

Spy Phone App

Parents need to decide why they are giving their children a cell phone to begin with so that they can talk open with their kids about the point of the cell phone. Reasons could include:

  • Being able to contact their children in case of emergency.
  • The ability to text to coordinate schedules, like pick-ups from after-school practice.
  • The technology to track their kids’ movements in a general area.
  • To build skills of responsibility.

When it comes right down to it, there simply aren’t a lot of reasons for parents to give their children cell phones, especially smartphones. To keep from having to over-monitor their kids, parents could train children by giving them a simple cell phone that only allows phone calls and perhaps texting. These kinds of phones are also easier for parents to monitor with or without a spy phone app.

If parents give kids smartphones, a spy phone app would probably be required for parents to be able to keep up with all of the media their children would access on a daily basis. This kind of cell phone monitoring doesn’t need to be kept secret. Parents need to talk with kids about how cell phone tracking helps them earn trust and practice respect for others, as well as helping parents to make sure that their kids are safe.

It is one of the jobs of parents to make sure that their kids are behaving responsibly, are safe and, whenever possible, that their children are making good choices. Parents who work at building trust and keeping communication open with their children can successfully monitor their children’s cell phones without squelching their natural need to become independent and responsible as they develop.