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Spying On Your Kid’s Phone

parental monitoring is not spying

Spying on your kid’s phones.  Who does that?

Some 43% of parents with children younger than 18 who have smartphones said their kids know they monitor their phone activity, according a poll conducted near the end of 2013.

Parent’s have been monitoring their children’s activities since the parental monitoring is not spyingdawn of day, and technology only improved that monitoring activity.  For example, internet “filters” have been in use since the late 1990’s; and became popular with Christian groups in early 2000s.  Parent’s were actively filtering and monitoring what their children accessed on the internet.

In the “old days”, the telephone of my family, and of most families in my neighborhood, was located somewhere between the kitchen-dingingroom-livingroom.  There were no private phones in bedrooms until much later.  Parents monitored kids use of the phones; and since all phone calls occurred in the same room as the parents, they were able to indirectly monitor what what being said.

“Who is David? Where are you going tomorrow?  You said the roller rink, who is meeting you there? Is Bob’s parents going also? Who is it you want to spend the night with? etc.  Don’t forget nanny cams; kindergarten cameras; and cctv in all the elementary and high schools.

How many parents do you know went through their kid’s rooms to “clean up”; or were looking for something in their kid’s backpack; or “cleaning the dresser drawers” in their kid’s room.

Before smartphones, we had restricted-use, ultra basic phones that could call “mom, dad, and the police”.  There was no texting, no mms, and no other calls.  We weren’t just monitoring, we were still in the blocking mode.

And we have moved into GPS watches and devices that we can attach to our kids.  So if you don’t think we have been monitoring our kids all along — you don’t live in the real world.

The concept is “parental monitoring”.  It is not “spying”.   It isn’t my fault that all the companies have named their product “…spy” something or other.  They know that is the hottest key word and that is what gets them business.  You may not like the concept of “spying” or use an app call “…spy”, but don’t blame the developers for trying to advertise.

Previously, I wrote … “Every parent or guardian has different perceptions and goals on how they want to control their child’s android phone access, depending on personal beliefs, morality, and their children’s ages.”  I still believe that today.

However, one of my biggest mistakes was this statement:  “I bought NON-branded smartphones because I assumed the phones wouldn’t last very long and I thought it would be better to buy cheaper phones that I could replace more often if necessary.”

Don’t go this route!  Buy branded phones, spend a little more, and have less problems.  I think, in the end, that the branded phones and the non-branded phones are going to last about the same amount, as it depends so much on the kids using them.

With that said, the non-branded phones lasted 9 months, and one year (the “one year” phone is still running today, but is being replaced this month for a birthday present).  These phones just could not handle the amount of use teens throw at a smartphone.  To be quite honest, I don’t know if the Samsung phones I have replaced these non-branded phone with will be able to keep up with the kids either!


Monitoring your kid’s phones is not cheap and it is not without frustration.  I hope what I have written will help other parents in making the necessary decisions to become more involved.

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