Gen Z is the generation who has been given the privilege to grow up with technology, social media, and the world wide web. While some people think this is an advantage, some feel otherwise. After all, digital dependence for children can be a double-edged sword. Kids can indeed learn many things during screen time, but they also come with significant drawbacks such as loss of sleep, lack of in-person social skills, chronic conditions, and more.
Another danger for children regarding the use of the internet is that they might be exposed to too dangerous, provocative, mature, and unhealthy contexts. Hence, the key is for parents to monitor and control their child’s digital activity. Phone tracking is the easiest solution for many parents, as long as there are ground rules being set.
If you’re looking for more ideas to monitor your child’s digital usage, here are some valuable tips:
1. Install A Tracking App
As mentioned, it’s not uncommon for parents to end up using tracking apps like those mentioned at EarthWeb to ensure their children’s safe digital usage. However, before proceeding to do this, it’s important to set ground rules. So, you need to inform your family about your decision and its reasons because you don’t want to spy on your kid without their knowledge, as this will only break down trust. Monitoring someone responsibly is a vast difference from spying on them without their knowledge. Let your kid know that you’re only after their well-being and safety.
When setting ground rules, you and your kid should honor them, which means you will also have to respect the rules set by your kid. Depending on your child’s age, teens are more sensitive about their privacy, so you need to be more understanding. However, let them understand your role and responsibility as their parent. Finally, you can install the tracking software when both parties settle an agreement.
Tracking your kid’s phone may be judged as intrusive, but there are more benefits in its totality. You can be more aware of their activities, environment, schedule, and why they spend a lot of time on the internet. It will support and guide you as parents on how to discipline or correct your kids’ unhealthy habits on the internet, if there are any.
2. Familiarize Yourself With The Apps That Your Child Is Using
To understand why your kid is obsessed with an app, it’s crucial to download and try using them yourself. Parents need to access the software that their child is using. In doing so, you can better assess and judge whether it’s healthy or beneficial for your kid. Furthermore, you will be made aware of any potential risks. The key here is to use the app to understand it as a whole regularly. It’s not enough to download, install, and use them once to check whether it’s a good app or not.
You can research further about the app by reading online resources about it. Read user reviews, check their rankings, and view their data insights. Go into forums, and don’t be afraid to ask around other parents or app users. When you fully understand the nuts and bolts of an app or software, you can better decide whether your kid can safely use it.
3. Be Communicative
It is only a matter of time before rules and monitoring are no longer effective. In some cases, teens are getting more rebellious and would disobey regulations simply because they feel you’re being unfair. Be sure to listen to and talk to your children. Always seek their understanding and also understand where they’re coming from. A relationship can be stronger when you’re open to each other. Make sure you are there for your children no matter what issues may come up. Let them feel that they can talk and be honest with you about anything.
Discuss your child’s online activities with them regularly. An occasional discussion will not suffice. Keeping them up to date with the latest online trends demonstrates your awareness of the online world. And for you to do that, you need to be up to date with the current trends in social media platforms and other popular apps among children or teens today. One great tip is for you to subscribe to or join parents’ communities that tackle issues about their children’s screen time.
4. Consider Subscribing On A Plan Together As Family
Since technology can have good and bad sides, you need to take advantage of its benefits. After all, media can be suitable for your family’s education and way of thinking if used properly. Also, your parenting style and family values should be reflected in the media you consume.
The best way to control your kid’s digital usage is to subscribe to an app or software together as a family. For instance, your family can subscribe to a streaming service with the best family plans and encourage everyone to spend quality movie time together.
5. Set Ground Rules About The Internet
Aside from setting ground rules about tracking your kid’s phone, you need to set ground rules about using technology in a broader context. Your family needs to set rules on how often members can use the internet, tablet, laptops, or smartphones. You can hold a family meeting for this regularly to modify changes or remind everyone about them.
Also, impose punishments when someone doesn’t follow them. Discuss the rules with your kids so they can understand them and ask you questions. When setting rules, you can be specific in detail so there won’t be a gray line for your kids to create an argument with you.
When setting rules about screen time, remember that you should involve and include yourself in the agreement. And for your kids to respect and follow them, you must be a good role model. Inspire them to follow your practices to have a good balance between virtual and real life.
6. Imply Strictly No-Tech Zones Inside The House
Another way to track your kid’s digital activity is to imply areas or zones at home which are strictly tech-free. It could be the living room or dining room, which means no one should ever use any gadget while they’re in those areas. Some other parents don’t allow screen time in children’s bedrooms.
Aside from using the internet, even the use of televisions, play stations, and other gadgets should also be controlled in some areas at home. It allows every family member to rest better and have good quality time together. Keep all devices switched off overnight and only turned on the following day.
Kids today are very tech-savvy and tech-dependent. Parenting teens online can be challenging as they might oppose or disobey your rules about screen time. However, by applying the tips mentioned above, you can let your child understand your good intention and purpose. Monitoring a child’s phone remotely is the best way to keep them safe.