No, I was not surprised to read that kids figure out how to how to get around the Apple iPhone parental controls. The Washington Post published an October 15, 2019 article that tells all about it, and in my experience, the kids’ actions are not limited to Apple parental controls.
The Techlicious blog features an information-filled post, with resources for parents who want to learn more about features and limits-setting as they go about considering whether to purchase a cell phone for a child. In her May 28, 2012 piece Suzanne Kantra describes some of the newest parental control packages on the market at large mobile phone carriers.
Kantra compares and contrasts various features that address a variety of parent concerns including:
- Keeping track of kids
- Text messaging limits
Below are a few past blog posts from MediaTechParenting on mobile phones and kids.
- Kids’ Cell Phones? Who’s in Charge Here?
- Is Your Child Starting Middle School? A Cell Phone Is Fun but It’s Not a Toy
- Want Sleep in Your Home? Get a Charging Station
- BMW PSA: Cell Phones, Texting, and Distracted Driving – the best public service announcement on driving and electronics that I’ve ever seen.
Even though most children now have cell phones, and while these devices seem like a necessary accessory for pre-teens and adolescents, parents should remind their children — on a regular basis — that cell phones are not toys. Mobile phones are sophisticated communication tools that also happen to entertain in many ways. They are fun to use, however, all family members need to learn as much as possible about the power of cell phones. The 2009 document Cell Phone Guide for Families With Children: Everything You Need to Know, written by Carnegie Mellon University’s My Secure Cyberspace, provides comprehensive information on cell phones. Another document from the same source is Should Your Child Have a Cell Phone?
A gadget orientation is critical. Before handing over a new mobile phone to a child, take the time to go over general guidelines and expectations. Review these expectations regularly, and update them each time a child’s gets a phone upgrade. Parents may also consider setting up a cell phone contract that spells out how a cell phone expectations and possible consequences when a child breaks the rules.