November 24, 2015

Giving your kid a cell phone is step one, but training them to call you back when they are needed is the real key.

It seems that nowadays kids are more excited to receive their first mobile phone than they are to receive a driver license. In fact, mobile phone usage has increased exponentially among teenagers over the past five years, while the average age of a youngster receiving a driver license has gradually crept up and up. This points to the proliferation of cell phone usage among kids – which is actually a good thing! A cell phone can be a life-saving device, a much-needed communication tool, and a source of information that can help kids to stay safe wherever they are. But, most parents provide a cell phone for their kids so that they can easily reach them regardless of their location, and herein lies the problem. One of the biggest sources of frustration for parents today – at least related to mobile phone usage, is the difficulty in getting kids to return phone calls or respond to text messages. Knowing this, several companies have developed parental control applications that can help moms and dads to increase the odds of receiving a call back from their kids.

The following are several that we consider crucial if you have given a mobile phone to your teenage child:

  • AppLock: Though this application is not specifically targeted as a parental control app, it does enable the user to password-protect specific applications, as well as the phone’s settings screen. It can also effectively lock the phone’s calling function, which can indicate to the child that they need to quickly respond to a parent via a text message.
  • IgnoreNoMore: This application was developed by a frustrated mother living in the Houston area who was tired of stressing out over a lack of communication between herself and her child. The application that she developed enables parents to remotely lock their kid’s phones until they call back. It works quite simply: parents will set up a list of approved contacts on their child’s phone that they are able to call when their phone is locked through the app. These contacts will provide a specific password that will unlock the phone – and kids can always still call 911. This application blocks calls to friends, text messages, phone-based games, and more… Total parental control is the result.
  • DinnerTime: Though targeted as a means to enhance family time and remove technology from the dinner table, this application provides parents with a virtual remote kill switch for their child’s phone. Parents have several options – 30, 60 and 90 minute blockades, or they can schedule hours where the phone will not work. Parents can initiate “DinnerTime” anytime they want their kids to return a call, simply by freezing their child’s cellphone until a call is returned.

Providing kids with a mobile phone makes a lot of sense in today’s fast-paced world. But if kids don’t return calls or respond to text messages in a timely manner, it can minimize the potential safety benefits of equipping them with a cell phone. These apps can help, but they are no replacement for good common sense and taking the time to have a discussion with your kids about cell phone expectations. If you are concerned about the costs associated with providing your kids with a mobile phone, or you are looking for a premium mobile option that works great for individuals and families alike, view the magicApp today to see just how easy it is to combine top performance with a low monthly price.