Many parents ask us, “How can I download this onto my child’s mobile device without causing a rift in our relationship?” We know it’s hard to give your child freedom of expression while also stepping in when they make unfavorable choices. Talking to your child about their actions and words in an open and non-judgmental way is the key to keeping the bonds of trust tight and maintaining mutual respect.
What some parents tell their teens is, “Your mobile phone is a privilege and not a right. This app will only notify me if you text something sexual, derogatory, violent, or age inappropriate. It will also show me pictures you post to social media and comments made on photos so that I can make sure you don’t post content that could jeopardize your future. This app also shows GPS locations. As your parent, it’s my responsibility to know where you are at all times. This app is less invasive than the alternative of taking your phone and going through it every day.” When teens understand that if they’re only texting about homework, sports, make-up, or clothing, you will not get a notification, they are more receptive to the idea of our app. Parents can always disable a data plan so all a mobile phone will do is make calls, but research shows teens will create secret accounts and use devices outside of the home so we believe using our app is a wiser choice. WebSafety grants a less intrusive way to protect your children online while still allowing them to interact with friends and cultivate relationships through media.
Explain you’ll need their passwords to connect social media accounts to the WebSafety app. It’s a good idea to have their passwords to accounts and devices just in case of emergency anyway. If your child goes missing, being able to immediately access social media and messaging apps can save law enforcement detectives valuable time.
Although it is possible for your teen to delete the app, if they do, you will receive an instant notification. You will also receive an alert if they disable their device’s GPS. Explain to your child that abductors often do this to victims’ devices so if they disable the app or their GPS, you will contact them immediately.
Remember, the most important thing you can do is to keep communication with your child open. Ask them questions about how their online friendships are going. Offer support if they’re feeling overwhelmed. Help them set healthy screen time limits. Always be transparent and let your children know what you are doing and why. Be as honest with your kids as you expect them to be with you.
We’re glad you believe in protecting your children and decided to try WebSafety!
By: B. Staples