Android Parental Control – What are your options?

android parental control app

The invention of smartphones and social media combined with younger children now having cell phones has led to new needs and new possibilities in parenting.  With the added responsibility and dangers associated with smartphone ownership, it’s no surprise that parents quickly turn to child monitoring and parental control apps. There are several parental control apps and options for Android; we’ll take a look at a few. It’s also good to remember, when it comes to parental control apps, to consider very specifically what the app needs to do for your family.

We need parental control apps for a variety of reasons. Our own peace of mind as parents is as good of a reason as any when it comes to wondering about a child’s whereabouts and well-being. Children exploring boundaries can also require more intense scrutiny than we’re able to gather simply by observing in the home as parents. Some parental controls are necessary to keep children from texting too much; some are simply good for curbing problem behaviors.

Which Android Parental Control Apps Should You Use?

The Android platform offers a few good options for parental monitoring and control apps. For younger children, apps like Reward Chart can make for an easy transition into parental monitoring, as well as enforcing good behavior. Apps that prevent tampering with the phone like Kids Place are popular with parents, but not always with kids. Apps that monitor location and social media, as well as phone usage are also popular with parents, though require a monthly service fee.

Apps like Kids Place and Kid Mode can be used to prevent all tampering with a phone. Parents can install these types of apps to choose which apps and features the child can access. Apps like Reward Chart, if installed early in a child’s phone progression, can help a child develop good behaviors and make the adjustment to parental monitoring apps easy.

Monitoring apps like Code9, MMGuardian and Phone Control give parents varying monitoring options but come with monthly or up-front fees. Other family locator apps can track children using GPS, but most come with few options. Norton Online Family offers online monitoring but lacks GPS tracking or location alerts. MamaBear offers multiple GPS monitoring options, as well as social Media and driving speed alerts, making it an excellent, well-rounded solution to parental control apps and is free during its beta launch.

General GPS monitoring apps are good, but they don’t provide as much depth with additional alerts and multi-functionality. Apps that prevent tampering are a good idea if a parent wants to be sure that software stays put. When combined with the MamaBear app, these apps give parents a free, comprehensive solution for child monitoring and parental control.

What Android parental control apps have you tried?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Looking for a parental control app for your Android device? We review the top 8 parental control apps on Android devices.
Android Mobile Apps
Date Published: 01/11/2013
4 / 5 stars

New Phones – Happy Kids – Anxious Parents

social media tracking

I’m sure you experienced pure delight on your child’s face when they unwrapped their new phone! Now it’s time to decide what parenting measures you need to protect them while they have a new, very powerful piece of technology. Many parents turn to monitoring apps, also known as parental control apps, as well as measures to keep the child from tampering with the monitoring tools. Follow this quick and easy advice on setting up and choosing the right parenting restrictions and monitoring for a child’s new phone.

Device Restrictions:

On iPhones:

– Go to the “Settings” app on the phone and click “General”
– Scroll down to select “Restrictions”
– After clicking “Enable Restrictions” and entering a private passcode, parents can set up restrictions for usage, content, location and more.
– Switch the button off for “Deleting Apps” to prevent the child from tampering with any apps meant for monitoring, like the MamaBear App.

On Android supported devices:

– Go to the Google Play store and click on “Settings”
– Select content filtering to allow your preferred maturity level
– Lock the settings, by touching ‘Set or Change PIN’ in the Google Play “Settings” area
– Unlike device settings on Apple, you’ll need to turn to the App Store to install apps to provide similar device restrictions
– For instance, the Kid’s Place app sets what apps you want your child to be able to open, limiting device features.

Content:

On an iPhone in the restrictions area described above you can restrict content of music, movies, shows, and apps based on the child’s age.

On Android devices they allow filtering by maturity level. You can see how they define maturity level here: http://support.google.com/googleplay/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1075738
Using the MamaBear App can bring to parent’s attention use of “restricted” words deemed by the parent on Facebook and Instagram.

Usage:

Typically usage restrictions, like limiting text messaging, phone calls and data is best done by contacting the service carrier for the individual device. There are also apps available that can restrict phone usage while driving like the DriveSmart app.

Location:

For many parents a useful feature of their kid’s GPS enabled smartphone is knowing where they are and where they’ve been. The MamaBear App parenting app is invaluable in this regard, offering real time monitoring and location alerts. Parents can access all of the alerts functions through the settings menu. Driving alerts use a simple on or off interface and allows parents to choose a maximum speed. Though you may want some apps to use your child’s location to take advantage of specific features, not all apps need to know your child’s location.

On iPhone go to “Settings” then “General” and then “Privacy.” Tap on location services to see all the apps that are using the location of the phone. If it’s necessary for the app to have location services leave it on. If not, you can turn off location services for particular apps.

On Android, go to “Settings” and click “Apps.” You’ll need to click each app to see if they have location permission.

Using these simple tips will help parents keep their new smartphone users safe and give their kids some freedom with their new best friends. I promise they won’t be leaving home without it.

MamaBear is available on the Google Play store for Android phones and in the Apple App Store for iOS enabled phones and devices.

A Tool to Start a Safety Conversation With Your Kids

mamabear family safety app

Having a child is so many wonderful things. As a parent, you want to impart your wisdom to them and make sure their life is better than yours. So, is it wise to use technology to make sure they follow the right path?

You remember the lines from your parents. “Don’t do that!” “If she jumped off a cliff, would you?” And many other famous ones everyone knows from when they were growing up.  Every parent wants to share their stories as an offering for children to avoid making mistakes. You want to give your children advice and let them have their own life experiences.

But, sometimes, do you wonder if your children are actually listening to your words of wisdom? Continue reading “A Tool to Start a Safety Conversation With Your Kids”