Times have definitely changed and I am desperately trying to keep up in this digital age.
While raising my children I am faced with some of the concerns my parents may have had when I was growing up. There were very few digital products with limited access. My children are 11 years apart, so the concerns I had with my now adult adult daughter differ from the concerns I have with my 9 year old son. The digital age is growing rapidly and I am trying to keep my eyes and ears open. Basically, I cannot be naive to what my 9 year has access to.
Last week, I attended a Sprint event. As I sat and listened to Tshaka Armstrong, of Digital Shepards , he touched on things I was aware of, but there were many things I was unaware of. Yes, I have fears of my son watching the wrong thing, being in contact with the wrong people, etc. but I needed to hear and watch Tshaka’s presentation.
My son received a tablet last year. I have not set it up with parental controls, but he does not have access to the internet. After hearing Tshaka’s presentation. I now know, I can set up parental controls on all devices.
I am monitoring what my son is viewing and we are having uncomfortable conversations. My son is a good child, but there is so much available to him either online or being in contact with his friends face to face. If there is something he is not aware of, trust me there is always that one child that knows a little more. Tshaka and his wife touched on this subject as well. They have experienced it first hand. They have allowed a child that had a little more knowledge than their children to spend time with their family, whenever the child came to visit they allowed him as long as he followed the rules of their home. We have to understand that our children are going to be exposed to many things either through their own curiosity or through friends.
Aside from having a tablet, my son has been asking for a cell phone. I have been on the fence about giving him one. We are now testing the waters with the Sharp Aquos phone I received at the event. So far he is just using it to play games, call and texting me or call and texing his sister. As he begins to use it more often I am confident knowing I am armed with the wealth of information I received from Tshaka. I also learned that Sprint has Sprint Mobile Controls.
· Sprint Mobile Controls https://mobilecontrols.sprint.com
o $5.99 per month/per account
Mobile controls will come in handy after my son has been using the phone for a while. Since he is not doing too much, I have not created an account.
Yes, I have concerns about my son using his devices. But, I am still concerned about my daughter although she is a young adult. She is a pretty safe driver, but I have always I wished she did not have access to her phone while driving. I have suggested she put in the trunk. Of course she has not done so. She claims she needs it for music and mapping. Well, I have a solution. While at the event, I learned about Sprint Drive First.
· Sprint Drive First https://drivefirst.sprint.com
o Available on Sprint Android-powered smartphones for free.
Lastly, I learned about Sprint/apps services. My family needs this. My daughter would be mortified if she knew I was saying this about her, but she needs this most. She is always leaving things behind. She is in junior year of college and has been in need of a tablet. Well, now she has the Samsung, Galaxy Tab S and I know she needs the family locator. Tshaka, shared a story about how his son left his cell phone at school and another child got the phone and tried to keep it. After two weeks of tracking and asking the kid to return it, the kid to returned it to the school.
· Sprint Family Locator www.sprint.com/familylocator
Below, you will find other resourceful links.
Sprint Internet Privacy Site
· Sprint Resource: Safety4Net, comprehensive toolkit for parents about smartphones & children, cyberbullying, sexting and other hot topics.
· Sprint Resource: How you can protect your privacy
· Sprint Resource: A Parent’s Guide to Mobile Phones
Please do not be naive, it is difficult to parent in a digital age, but it can be done.
Disclosure: Product/compensation was received in exchange for post.
Don’t be afraid to be free!!!