Smart phones with parental control apps (and built into phone) for my 13 year old

(8 Posts)
PermacultureMama Fri 25-May-18 16:33:21

My daughter feels really left out not having a smartphone- I thought it too dangerous for her to have one but it her 13th birthday soon and it is increasingly hard to stop her curiosity of the internet.

So we are getting her this phone

Does anyone know of any parental control apps that would be useful to download, have you any experience with them? Are there any problems with them?

I am worried about a number of things with regards to certain apps and time spent on youtube etc as even youtube is full of inappropriate content.

My daughter also loves manga and anime which has some really dark parts to it too.

So I am excited to discover this phone. Plus it has GPS tracking too smile

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Littlefish Fri 25-May-18 16:37:23

We used Norton Family. You can restrict the amount of time and times of day when the phone is used. You can block particular websites, or whole categories of websites. You can check text messages from the accompanying website. This last feature came in particularly handy when dd started being bullied and I could just forward a transcript of the messages to her school. It costs about £30 per year.

rainingcatsanddog Fri 25-May-18 16:50:30

It doesn't sound like good value for money.

I would spend the £150 on a better quality phone and manage use by controlling your home wifi or taking her phone when she uses it too much. I'd also start talking to her about the nasty stuff on the Internet. She might not be able to watch it on her phone but she can easily watch on another child's. I have parental controls set via the router at home and the mobile operator offered no porn when we took out the contract.

I can find the position of my children on their Android, Apple phones btw.

PermacultureMama Fri 25-May-18 18:32:43

I don't feel like the home wifi is safe enough. I am particularly liking that you can allow access to google play, but she cant download or install anything without your specific say so. You can observe everything that happens and you can even allow a specified time in which she could use an app, the internet or something else. Which means she will have access to the calendar, youth counseling app (kooth) & mindfulness apps to help with her anxiety but game apps or something else like youtube would be restricted to certain time periods.

When she stole back her ipad last year (after we confiscated it after unsafe use) she downloaded an anime app and was contacted by someone who seemed dodgy and someone else sent her some erotic fan fiction. So downloading apps is not what I want her to be able to do.

I would like to know of other parental control apps to help keep her safe.

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PermacultureMama Fri 25-May-18 18:34:53

and luckily her dad who lives a few hours away is happy to buy her the phone for her birthday, something I would not be able to afford

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rainbowdashflip Fri 25-May-18 18:39:24

I know it's not what you want to hear but there is no way I would be giving a phone to a teen if they couldn't be trusted. Micro managing their mobile phones is a step too far, if you feel the need for that kind of control but her a brick.

Ski40 Fri 25-May-18 18:56:53

My daughter is 11. All her friends have smartphones and use them like they are 18.😮
After much nagging I told her she would be allowed one when she showed me she was mature enough to handle the web/social media safely. In the meantime she could use my spare one to text her friends on Wassap and watch certain content in Youtube (dance stuff, Barbie stuff etc). I set out very clear rules and told her I would monitor all her activity to start with. Oh dear. Bad move. Within a month she had broken all my rules (chat to strangers, click on unknown links, watch videos I had told her not to, loads of other things) plus her behaviour in general dropped shockingly, she turned a bit lazy and rude and she stopped doing anything else -entirely. So I have now withdrawn it and she will have a basic text and call phone until she grows up a bit more. (A lot more that is! )
She is now back to her normal self thank God! 11 was far too young, at least for her. Maybe other kids are more trustworthy/mature. Everybody is different.


PermacultureMama Fri 25-May-18 20:00:19

Thanks its great to hear from you all. I'm new to mumsnet so this is my first experience of using it.

I hear you about buying her a brick phone. She has one of those.

I want to keep her safe but on the other hand I want to allow her the freedom to choose to explore the internet a little bit. She doesnt have access to it at home due to her restrictions but apps are a different thing. One of the main reasons I wanted her to have a smart phone was so that she could have apps like kooth and headspace. She is stuggling with her ptsd and having those at hand is really useful.

Plus I know that there will come a time in a few years, like when she is 15/ 16 when I won't be able to stop her having a smartphone. Unless I wanted to be really authoritarian but I don't feel like I want to make enemies of her or for her to have to carry on being the weird kid who only has a brick phone.

She gets access to the internet at school and with her friends. She managed to make herself an email & youtube account )she doesnt know how to use history deleting and left her accounts logged in on my computer- she managed to go on while she was 'watching netflix' while I was in the shower.

It is going to be a losing battle with keeping her off the internet. I can give her boundaries and consequences if she crosses them but it is not going to stop her curiosity and the drive to fit in and not miss out on the latest meem or funny video that her friends and peers talk about in school.

To me this feels like a good compromise. Plus hopefully, she will get some of her curiosity out of the way with limits and supervision while she is still young.

OP’s posts: |

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