Monitoring Your Teen’s Smartphone: 5 Arguments For & 5 Against

Are you considering monitoring your teen’s smartphone use? Do you want to control their time spent online, but don’t want intrude into their privacy?

Having such conflicting thoughts and feelings is not uncommon amongst parents of teenagers today.

Taking into account the rise of smartphone addiction and serious issues like cyberbullying, stalking, pornography, and sexting, it’s no wonder parents worry so much about their children’s use of smartphones and social media.

And, their worry is not without a reason- the online world is not an innocent and safe place, especially for children. They can come across inappropriate content like violence and pornography and may easily become victims to online predators and scams.

Youngsters may consequently begin to struggle with physical and mental health problems from overuse like excessive stress, lack of sleep, poor posture, eye strain, anxiety, and depression.

However, since we know that smartphones and the internet are here to stay, we need to teach our teens about safe and responsible use and agree to boundaries. In some situations, parents may also consider monitoring their child’s use of gadgets.

Although monitoring a child’s phone may have its benefits, it also has its drawbacks, i.e. the concern about invading the child’s privacy and possible trust issues. With this in mind, many parents struggle when trying to make the right decision.

Michael Ungar, Ph.D. and author of Nurturing Resilience and books for parents and caregivers, emphasizes that parents should monitor and check up on children regularly because they do best when an adult knows where they are and what they are doing.

But, in a world of all kinds of monitoring apps and GPS tracking, parents may end up intruding in the child’s life and trigger unwanted behaviors and mistrust.

This report will therefore explore the advantages and disadvantages of parental monitoring to help you make the best choices for your particular situation.

5 Pros & Cons about Monitoring Children’s Phones

These are the 5 best advantages of monitoring your child’s phone:

1. You protect them from explicit content
Let us all face it – the internet is full of unpleasant and offensive things that children should never see, but many of them do. Plus, adult content can have a negative impact on a child’s health and well-being.

Therefore, failing to monitor what your child is doing on the internet and on his/her phone puts them at a higher risk of sexting and pornography. Unfortunately, sexting can diminish the child’s reputation and image while pornographic images can be shocking and disturbing.

By monitoring their phone regularly and using specific apps, you can prevent the child from accessing such websites and even get a notification when messages are sent or received with their phone.

Remember to talk to your child why it is important that you know how they are spending their online time.

2. You know their location
Nowadays, thanks to GPS, many parents install apps on their children’s phones to know where they are at all times.

This can be a very beneficial method if we take into account that youngsters often break the rules and this includes going to places you have told them not to visit.

In this way, you can make sure their child is safe at all times and prevent him/her from getting lost or hurt because you can react quickly and effectively.

3. You are more aware of the people around them
Sometimes, despite how open and honest the communication with your teen, you cannot know all of the people they communicate with, especially online. And, this can lead to unwanted situations.

Your child may be unaware that they are actually talking with a stranger who pretending to be someone of their age.

So, it’s important to be able to know more about the people they chat with. You can know this by checking their messages, browsing history, call logs, and comments on their posts and photos.

If you are worried about intrusion, go through the suspicious areas ones only-leave out names and conversations with their closest friends whom you know well.

And, be honest about your reasons for doing this and tread with caution.