More and more kids are getting phones these days, whether it’s to keep in touch with family, keep up with schoolwork, or just because it’s the cool new thing. Kids having phones isn’t necessarily new, but with technology advancing, lots of parents can be concerned about what their kids are accessing. The internet is a scary place even for adults!
The good news is there are parental controls you can add to your child’s iPhone to make their experiences a little more restricted. You can control their screen time, sharing features, search functions, spending, etc. You can make them as strict or as loose as you want—it’s your kid! You know them and what they need.
iPhones have built-in settings to help you limit different aspects of the device. The most important thing to remember is to go to Settings > Screen Time and choose “This is my child’s phone.” This will allow you to set up the controls and create a unique password so your kid can’t go and switch them all back. Here are some options for you on the iPhone:
- Set up screen time limits, making most apps non-accessible after the limit has been hit
- Prevent downloads and purchases to the phone
- Restrict certain apps from the phone’s home screen (like social media or browsing sites)
- Select ratings restrictions for music, podcasts, TV shows, books, apps, and movies, which will prevent content with explicit ratings from playing
- Restrict certain websites from the browsing capabilities, as well as types of web content
- Limit Siri search capabilities (and stop her from using explicit language)
- Limit gaming activity, which could include restricting the ability to add friends
- Limit data usage
All of these features can be set up and personalized through the Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.
Parental Control Apps
If you want to actually monitor your child’s activity vs. just restricting how they use the phone, there are a lot of apps you can download to the phone to track usage. These apps can help you monitor incoming and outgoing calls or texts, browsing history, and even app usage all from your own iPhone. Family Time, Cocospy, and Spyic are free apps you can download, but there are also paid apps that offer more in-depth monitoring capabilities.
Access to information has become so easy, which in some ways is great, but for parents it can be scary. Your kid may not mean to stumble upon inappropriate content, but y’know...stuff happens. Luckily you can set their phone up to be more child-appropriate, letting them still use it and giving you peace of mind.