Your kid’s cell phone beeps, signaling an incoming text, and his thumbs spring into texting position without ado. A scene played out in many homes these days as texting has become a fast way for teens and tweens to stay in touch with one another. In fact, research shows they prefer it over calls because texting gives them the liberty to conduct much of their social interaction privately and almost limitlessly. A Pew Research Centre survey divulged that three out of four teens in the US own mobile phones, and 88% of them use text message. While texting has become a wildly popular way for youngsters to stay in the loop, it can also get them into serious troubles like cyber bullying, online predators, and inappropriate messaging.
Not only this, teenagers are also slacking off in studies and school work because of their excessive obsession with text messaging. Many parents are fretful about their kids’ texting habit, but only a few know how to tackle the issue head-on and protect their children. Those who have no clue can make use of the following information to do just that:
What Should You Tell Them?
Tell them about various virtual threats without scaring them too much! Try to give them information about things they might have to contend with once they have a cell phone and access to messaging. It’s worth bringing up issues like cyberbullying, extortion, online predators, and inappropriate texting. Teenagers should be educated that texting can be used to gain their personal information or bullying, so they must remain vigilant. Older kids, on the other hand, should be given a detailed picture of the inherent risks and how they might become a prey by accident. Let your kids know your role as a parent is to keep them safe and this discussion will only help them recognize potential hazards.
State Your Expectations Clearly
Before buying your kid a new iPhone, it’s important for you to state your expectations and set the ground rules. For instance, if you think 80 texts a day is way too many or don’t want them text during dinner, let them know. Also, explain the consequences, in case, your rules are breached.
Talk About Inappropriate Texting
There is no harm in discussing with your kid about their own texting behavior and some of the inappropriate things others may share through texting. It is important to coach your child how to be a good digital citizen. Make it clear to them it’s not acceptable to use texting to harass or hurt others. Kids often behave differently when texting, but it’s essential to teach them that they must avoid saying something in a text message that they can’t say to someone’s face. Explain to them whatever they send or say via texting may stay online forever and can be shared with others, even if they believe it’s been deleted. To make the discussion fruitful, it’s a good idea to get their opinion on the subject. Listening to their concerns and experiences will build trust and keep the means of communication open.
Use iPhone Parental Monitoring for Text Messages
You can ensure your children are following the rules by physically accessing their cell phone in order to go through their text messages. However, the key issue is modern day teens barely leave their mobile devices unattended, as they always have them password protected. So how can you make sure your kid hasn’t deviated from the track? With iPhone parental monitoring, text messages can be monitored without physically accessing your kid’s iOS device. All you need is their iCloud credentials and you’ll be able to keep an eye on their text messages from anywhere.
These are some of the best ways for parental control over your kid’s digital life and web usage. Try them out and you will see how effective they are.