We humans are a rare species when it comes to parenting. We are conflicted between excessive care and a willingness to let them loose. We are eager to be their friends, but also to set firm boundaries. We want all their problems to vanish in a blink of an eye, but we also want to prepare them to face hardships on their own. We suffer when they make mistakes, but we don`t let them see our suffering. All these paradoxical behaviors build the barriers we face when communicating with our children.
The communication barriers between parents and children vary from one family to another, but every parent is confronted with new issues in the digital age. Used appropriately, parental control software brings parents and children together.
1. Paradoxical Care
Parents` constant care for the security of their kids usually comes with a wish to let them loose, especially at older ages. This paradox can hinder communication, as the line between care and coddling is subtle, like the line between dependence and neglect. Installing parental control software is done with a kid`s consent, and parents should always tell their children why they made this technical decision. Children should be aware they are not being spied on, but they now have adult supervision to help them face dangers they may not be able to overcome by themselves.
GPS location tracking installed through parental control allows parents to watch their children`s mobile phone on a map. This feature is indispensable at smaller ages, while for teenagers it may be used as a discrete security measure. For instance, when your kid goes to his friend`s house after the movie he told you about, you can monitor his location without embarrassing or intrusive phone calls in front of his peers. Of course, kids can always turn off their smartphones, so parental control has to be a partnership between generations.
2. Social Misunderstandings
In “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families,” the American Academy of Pediatrics warned that parents may not truly understand social media use. The organization also urged parents to monitor potential problems with cyber-bullying, “Facebook depression,” sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content. Parents may have a different perspective on the value of time, friendship, relationships and the “real world”.
Parental control allows parents to monitor Facebook activity (comments, messages, wall posts, tags, privacy settings, number of friends, and more). Parents can discretely keep an eye on their children`s privacy and security, intervening when serious dangers, such as online harassment, occur. More recently, kids are also vulnerable to predators who abuse the new Facebook Graph Search feature. With the social network admitting “minors can appear in search results,” kids` personal data may be targeted by criminals.
3. Difficulty to Understand Friends
Parents can have a hard time understanding why their kids are so influenced by their entourage. Many misunderstandings appear when parents appear mean to their children`s friends, enforce interdictions or punish.
Mobile phone tracking offers a discrete way to check out what kids do with the Android devices. It informs parents of their children`s habits and their friends` mobile use without being intrusive. Parents can also block suspicious contacts and monitor dangerous incoming and outgoing messages or calls in real time. This feature can be particularly helpful in urgent situations of harassment that go from the online to the offline world, when parents can`t be near the children in the moment.
4. Technology Gap
Many kids are more technology-savvy than their parents, who often can`t, or don`t want to, keep pace with the ever-evolving digital world. This skill gap makes them view the internet in different ways, leading to many misunderstandings.
Parental control may help concerned parents better understand the digital environment their children live in. By learning about the sites their kids access, moms and dads can become more familiar with their kids` behavior in the online and offline world. Parents can also develop technical skills through parental control software, which is easy to use and can be accessed from pretty much anywhere.
5. Poor Time Management
Parents and kids rarely have time to truly communicate. Poor time management comes with a deteriorated selection process, and parents sometimes don`t say what they should. Fleeting expressions such as “I love you” may come across as plain and redundant.
Parental control should help parents gain time for outdoor activities, sports and fun with their children. This type of software allows parents to guide their kids discretely. Parents should use this software as an educational tool that helps show them who their kids are, what they want to be and what passions they have. They should also remember different types of monitoring and control suit children of different ages.
Bitdefender Parental Control is available as a standalone application and included in Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Total Security. Parental control blocks inappropriate content, restricts Web access between certain hours, and helps parents remotely monitor their children`s online activity. Remember that parental control is not an abusive online monitoring tool, but an addition to real life communication, love and care.