Cell Phones & Tablets: Resources for Families

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Deciding to give your child a cell phone and/or tablet can be an overwhelming decision. It’s important to set guidelines and discuss what is okay (and not okay) when it comes to student cell phone use. We’ve put together a list of resources that may be helpful to you. CCPS does not officially endorse any of these tools.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media has a great section on Cell Phone Parenting. It covers topics like deciding the right age to get your child a cell phone, choosing the right phone and service plan, setting rules, and monitoring how your child uses his or her phone.

Microsoft Family

This is just one of the many benefits of having a Microsoft account. It’s a free service that helps families stay connected, and keep kids safer on Windows 10 and Xbox One devices, along with Android devices running Microsoft Launcher. You’ll find settings like activity reporting, screen time limits, location sharing, and content restrictions on account.microsoft.com/family, where you can also track kids’ spending and add money to their Microsoft accounts.

Apple Family Sharing

Family Sharing allows parents to create free Apple IDs for children under the age of 13. Parents can review and approve apps, share purchased apps and music, and more. Apple provides detailed instructions about setting up an Apple ID for your child, and how to manage their account.

Bark

Bark is a paid service that monitors your child’s text messages, YouTube, emails, and over 24 social networks. Its algorithm automatically detects potential risks and alerts parents. This helps parents ensure their children’s safety without having to read through every text and social media post.

Circle

Circle is a paid service that allows families to set screen time limits, filter content, and give rewards. It is a device that connects to your WiFi and connects to all digital devices in your home, providing a centralized place to manage your digital family. There is a good video explaining how Circle works on the company’s homepage.

Family Link App

This Google app can help you set certain digital ground rules on Android devices. You can create a Google Account for your child that’s much like your own, and do things like manage apps, keep an eye on screen time, and remotely lock your child’s device.

If you decide to let your child have a device, be sure to check out the parental controls and restrictions available to you. Apple and Android devices have a variety of ways parents can restrict content for younger users. Taking a few simple steps will keep your child safe and provide you with peace of mind!