It’s August and it’s summer – yet Back to School signs are everywhere as kids and parents alike get ready to brave the new school year.
Backpack? Check. Pencil case? Check. Lunchbox? Check. New school shirt? Check. Everyone is starting a new school class – with some kids even beginning a brand new school. And as we all know, with kids wanting to fit in, along with parents wanting to keep kids safe, and just the general fact that we are in 2022 – giving your child a phone has become part of the back-to-school prep.
Giving your child a phone is a big consideration. Are they old enough? Are they responsible enough? You may have decided they need one for the school journey, or maybe they’ve reached an appropriate age, or maybe it’s simply peer pressure. It’s difficult these days with class Whatsapp groups being so popular – kids have genuine FOMO (fear of missing out) if they don’t also have a phone to call their own.
But how do you set the boundaries when your child receives a phone? And how do you keep your kids safe from online harm?
Never fear – we’ve got you covered!
When you reach that milestone of handing your child a phone, utilizing a parental control app such as FamilyKeeper adds an important layer of protection for parents and kids. Now we know what you’re thinking: it’s all very well adding blockers and parental controls to the tablet my 6-year-old messes around with at home – but what happens when my teenager decides Mom and Dad are invading their privacy?
Let’s take a look at the important reasons why you should be using parental control apps – and how to deal with any objections your kids may raise.
Parts of the world are safe; parts of the world are not so safe. It’s our job to protect our children. Maybe your kid takes the bus to school? Perhaps they’re meeting friends to go to the mall or to a park? As parents, our main aim is to keep our children safe, and knowing where your kids are is a part of that.
It’s understandable that from a kid’s perspective, they won’t want you to feel that you are invading their privacy – that’s why it’s so important for you to explain your concerns to your child. Unfortunately, the world isn’t a safe place and it’s also an enormous place! Thankfully, geofencing and location trackers enable a parent and child to decide together which areas are safe. Your child can have their own input into the discussions, as you set the “safe zones”.
A parental control app like FamilyKeeper gives that element of security to know that family members are in safe territories – but you can decide where, and how far that is, together, before you set the controls.
Just think about this for a second – have you ever received a message that’s made your heart sink? Have you perhaps sent messages to someone that may have been unkind? Has anyone ever sent something that’s made you cringe, or been embarrassed, or that you think was inappropriate for social media? These are the kinds of questions that can be asked of both generations – there’s a very high chance that both parent and child can empathize with these situations.
Cyberbullying is on the rise, and the last thing anyone wants is for their kid to either be a victim or, in fact, the bully. It’s so easy to become a troll these days or to get away with writing something to someone that you wouldn’t even think of saying to their face.
Unfortunately, it’s also ridiculously easy for a kid to be so upset by an online comment about them, that they will hide it from their parents instead of asking for help and advice. This then triggers a vicious cycle of awful cyber behavior, that may be kept under the radar until something explosive happens.`
By all means, your kid should be able to enjoy social media, messaging friends, and adding posts, reels, videos, and comments. Adding the FamilyKeeper app and deciding on trigger words simply protects against anyone feeling emotionally hurt or vulnerable. With FamilyKeeper, you and your child can decide together which words should be added to the “keyword” list so that you’ll be alerted if inappropriate or offensive language is being used.
The Family Schedule
We all know realistically that it’s unhealthy for your mind, body and soul to spend too much time glued to a device. Kids and adults alike these days are hooked on screens – but too much screen time can cause disruptive sleep patterns, and antisocial behavior, as people forget how to interact face-to-face.
It’s also ridiculously easy to lose track of time when using a screen – we’ve all heard ‘Just one more episode!”, “Just one more level!”, or “Just five more minutes!” Parents don’t want their kids to feel that they can’t manage or organize their own schedule but we all, adults included, know how easy it is to lose track of time while staring at a screen, and forget that there is a real-world out there with face-to-face interaction, physical activity and good ol’ fresh air.
A parental control app like FamilyKeeper can utilize screen time controls, which can help you decide together how much screen time is healthy for your family, when bedtime should be, and just generally plan a healthier weekly schedule. You can effectively plan your day / week / month so that real life doesn’t pass you by while you are staring at a device.
There’s no shame in wanting to keep your family safe – and the best parental control apps are a great way to do so. You wouldn’t let a driver out on the roads without driving lessons first, would you? Parental control apps like FamilyKeeper provide your kid with the tools they need to navigate their online environment safely – it’s the training wheels that will guide them through their early experiences of handling a phone responsibly, how to treat others (and be treated) with respect on social media, and managing their screen time effectively.
So before the back-to-school rush really gets going, take the time to open up the channels of communication with your child – both sides should feel they are being heard while bearing in mind that the key goal of the best parental control apps is to keep kids safe from harm.
For more information and to start your free 7-day trial: www.familykeeper.reasonlabs.com.