Frequently Asked Questions
Each question is attached with an answer below it. If you have a question that is not answered here, let us know by sending us a message on our Contact page.
When should I get my child a phone?
In all honesty, there is not a certain age that is the "right" age for a child to get a phone or any mobile device. There are a few things we recommend for parents to consider when thinking about getting their child a phone and they are:
1. Is there a need for my child to have a phone? For example, are there times that you drop your child off for an extended period of time, not including school, like baseball practice, dance, etc.?
2. Do you, as a parent, believe that your child is responsible enough to make wise usage decisions?
3. Do you know how to monitor your child's digital footprint (apps, texts, web history, etc.), limit access to certain content, and control what functions can be utilized?
4. Have you established clear and concise guidelines for proper device usage?
If you answered yes to all of these then your child MAY be able to handle the responsibility of having a phone. Only you, the parent, can make this determination. However, if you have any further questions or would like to attend a training to help you get ready to make this leap, click here.
- How can I make my child safer when using a mobile device?
- When should I call the police?
What phone should I get for my child?
Finding the right device for child is a very important issue that every parent must do. There are so many different devices out there it may seem impossible to know which one is the right one. Here are some generalizations that will help determine the main differences:
1. iOS - iOS is the operating system for the iPhone and the iPad and is a closed source operating system. What this means is third party apps like Bark, Our Pact and other parental control/monitoring apps do not have access to the part of the system required to effectively monitor, limit and control a mobile device. The iPhone is currently the most popular smartphone of the market, but that does not mean that it is the right device for your child. There severe limitations created by the iOS operating system's robust security features. The iPhone is one of, if not, the most secure device on the market for preventing outside intrusion. However, this security prevents parents from having the ability to effectively monitor their child's digital footprint. There are ways to monitor some, but is it based on the analysis of the backup from the phone causing a a significant delay. iOS does have a very solid parental control section that gives parents tons of control over the features and content on the device, as well as the amount of time spent on the device.
2. Android - Android is an open source operating system that is owned by Google. This operating system is free and can be used, changed, manipulated, and even sold by anyone. The open source format and the fact that it is free allows for phone manufacturers to custom build the operating system to their liking. The open format also allows third party apps to gain access to more of the system necessary to more effectively monitor, limit, and control the device giving parents a better chance of finding a problem sooner than with an iPhone.
In a nutshell, iPhones are great at keeping people out of the device protecting the content, which is a good thing if you do business, banking and other "grown-up" activities with your mobile device. However, it can keep the parent out as well, which is why we recommend that for your child you get an Android device. If you have any questions about this topic, please reach out to us by sending a message from our Contact page.
- What apps are available to help monitor my child's devices?
- Can I use my WiFi router to filter my child's internet content?