Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with TeenLimit and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions in this blog post about teen cell phone challenges are my own.
Parenting today is totally different than it was 20 years ago. It's rare to see a teenager (or even a pre-teen) without a smart phone in hand. It's practically a wardrobe essential these days.
If you have kids in that age range, then you've probably bumped up against some challenges. I have watched friends and family members struggle to control their teen's behavior online.
Inappropriate pictures posted on social media. Oversharing on social media. Using Google to learn things before the parents are ready for their teens to be exposed to those things.
Trying to balance parental control with not being over-bearing is something I see a lot of parents struggle with. I think far too many parents end of being too lenient because they have trouble finding the line at which they want to stand.
Both of my daughters have had Android tablets for a couple of years now. While it will be a few years before we even think about cell phones for them, they have access to everything else on their tablets that they would on a cell phone besides the call functionality.
I think it has been a good lesson on what we do and do not want them to have access too. And watching how the children of friends and families have behaved with their mobile devices has helped us further understand where we'll set boundaries when that time comes.
I recently started playing with an app that will help us – and you – draw the line when it comes to your child's mobile use, TeenLimit. It will allow you to control what your child can and can't do on their mobile device from your phone.
Unlike many internet safety apps for kids, TeenLimit is designed specifically for teenagers. So the functionality is a bit different than the security apps that are designed for younger kids.
Here are some of the common challenges I see parents face with mobile devices and how TeenLimit can help.
Teens on Their Phones After Bedtime
When our daughters first got their tablets, they would try and sneak them after bedtimes. I know far too many teens that are on their phones long after bedtime.
Sleep is critical for growing kids and teens, so limiting access to electronics after lights out is super important.
TeenLimit allows you to set hours that your child can access their phone or mobile device. In case of special circumstances, you can apply exceptions to your rules. For example, you can add an hour of use, turn the device off for meal times or appointments and more.
Teens Accessing Apps You've Banned
Do your kids continually access apps you'd prefer they completely avoid? You can simply ban them with TeenLimit.
TeenLimit allows you to manage both allowed and forbidden apps easily. You can also define essential apps such as phone calls, SMS, alarm clock, calendar, etc. that can be available any time.
Teens Posting Inappropriate Pictures Online
If your teen has a track record of posting inappropriate pictures online, you can block the apps they've abused in the past. Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Musicaly or another app I haven't heard of yet, TeenLimit will allow you to block it.
Teens Viewing Inappropriate Content
Access to the internet has given us access to information about everything at every time. Sometimes we simply don't want our kids to have access to certain information, videos or images.
The TeenLimit app allows you to set filters on your child's internet browser, so they can safely browse the web with inappropriate content blocked.
Teens Not Doing Chores or Homework Due to Screen Addiction
Do you have trouble prying your kids' eyes from their phone so they can do their homework and chores? Turn off your child's phone remotely from yours so they are forced to tend to their responsibilities.
Teens Visiting Places Without Permission
Do you have a sneaking suspicision your child isn't going where they say they're going? You can use the Geolocation feature of TeenLimit to make sure your child arrives safely to their destination – and stays there.
How to Get TeenLimit
While the Teen (Kid) Version of the app is free, if you want to get access to all of the features I mentioned, you'll need the Parental Version. It's available for a nominal monthly fee of $3.29. That is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
You can get a free 10-day trial of the parental version once you download TeenLimit to your child's device and yours.
The Teen (Child) version of the app is available for Android only. The Parental version of the app is available for iOS and Android devices.
Click here to learn more about TeenLimit.