These days you can do a ton of things with your iPhone and so can your teen, naturally. Teens are work-around experts at figuring out ways to leverage technology to communicate text messages.
One night after a healthy round of arguing and sass talk my teen got herself grounded. At the time she happened to be on the computer using Facebook so my knee jerk reaction was to ground her from the computer and send her to her room. She reluctantly stomped upstairs and closed her door. After some time had passed and I felt I could go talk to her I decided to go upstairs and explain why I grounded her. However, about ten feet from the door I could hear voices coming out of her room. My first thought was that she sneaked the laptop upstairs and was Skyping with her friends. My blood pressure immediately spiked at the thought of such disobedience. After opening the door however I realized she was Skyping all right, but from her phone. Oh the naïve web I spin sometimes.
After this incident I started doing some research on parental controls for the iPhone. Our mobile contract was with AT&T so I checked with them and into their Smart Control features. AT&T’s smart control features allow a parent to limit things like the time when a teen can text, use the phone, upload/download apps and restrict certain types of content on the web. You can read more about AT&T’s Smart Controls here.
This seemed perfect however, I didn’t account for my teen using the iPhone from our wireless network at the house, which was a problem. So basically I could limit the use of the phone as long as she’s not connected to a wireless network.
Apple includes parental controls in iOS 3 and greater
I should have checked the basics first because as it turns out Apple includes basic parental controls in the operating system of the iPhone already. Here’s how to get to the parental controls in your teens iPhone;
· Touch on the “Settings” button.
· Next touch the “General” button.
· Swipe down until you see “Restrictions” and touch it.
· The restrictions service will ask you for a pass code. This allows you to set a password so only you can get back into the restrictions area. Go ahead and set a 4-digit pass code, but don’t forget it.
· Once you have set the pass code for restrictions you’ll see a list of services for the iPhone you can turn on or off.
· Setting the button to “off” will disable not only that service, but any service that uses it. For example, to video call you need a camera right? You get the idea.