At least 100 mobile applications are available for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS that provide parents with tools for monitoring children’s smartphone use. Many include Web filters and limits on the use of apps. Some alert parents when a teen is texting and driving. My Mobile Watchdog allows parents to read a child’s texts, see call logs and block apps during specific times.
It’s good to turn children’s attention away from a screen, two experts say, but parents shouldn’t let apps substitute for good parenting.
“It is a fight to give a kid a coloring book or puzzle instead of a smartphone,” says Kimberly S. Young, who is an expert on Internet addiction, “but someone has to do it.”