iPhone Monitoring for Kids In Elementary School
Most children get their first smartphone as they are entering their teenage years, around 12 years old. However, more and more kids are getting mobile devices much younger than that. If you’ve purchased a smartphone for your younger child, or are considering doing so, then today’s discussion is for you!
What To Allow
The basic purpose of an iPhone – despite the incredible advance in capabilities these devices have seen – remains getting in contact with other people. That, of course, means that your child should be allowed to call you and text you from the device.
Until they’ve at least reached adolescence, though, they shouldn’t be calling or texting anyone else – the formative years are important, and children really should be talking with others face-to-face instead of over any digital device. For that reason, we encourage calling over texting.
You can allow them to use an iPhone’s native apps, too, but steer clear of downloading too many games or social media apps that can serve as a distraction more than a help (more on that later)!
Apps like Calendar and Notes, on the other hand, can be a helpful tool. The early years are a great time to encourage paying attention to schedules and accomplishing whatever tasks you set. Once this becomes a habit for your child, you might be surprised at how consistently they’ll do the things they’re supposed to.
The key here is to make it clear that iPhones are, first and foremost, a tool to support the rest of their lives. The fun and entertainment will only come after they’ve proven that they can handle the important things, and you can slowly add to their responsibilities by adding new apps (each with a purpose) on a regular basis.
At this stage of owning an iPhone monitoring is effectively a tool for enforcement – be sure to check the call and text logs to be sure they’re not contacting anyone else.
What to Avoid
While your young child is in elementary school, an iPhone should not be their primary entertainment device! That means the fewer games, movies, and apps, the better!
When it comes to social media, most networks don’t even allow children to join before they are 13. Many say they don’t allow it, but don’t enforce it. It’s up to you to make sure your child isn’t downloading and using inappropriate apps for their age.
The best way to control this is to use your Apple iCloud ID on their device, rather than letting have their own. That way, they have to get your to enter YOUR password before they can download any new apps or content onto their phone. You’ll also want to download an iPhone monitoring tool to make sure they’re behaving appropriately on apps they do have on their phone.
Children at this age are not mentally developed enough to be making good decisions – they’re searching for fun, and if they start getting addicted to a smartphone at this age, you may need some serious intervention to put a stop to that: “Children can get addicted to technology at any age, up to and including infancy and toddlerhood – there is no such thing as too early when it comes to putting limits on their access to technology.”
If you’re ever uncertain about whether or not something is appropriate at a certain age, ask your child to come up with a way of demonstrating whether or not they’re mature enough to handle it. Try to avoid saying “no” directly – if you act like a wall, they’ll look for ways around you, but they’re usually willing to cooperate as long as they think they can eventually get you to agree.
You can start monitoring your child’s activities and enforce your rules today with a free trial of the TeenSafe software.