Parental control app - Until what age is it appropriate?


#1

Hi, I’m Chloe and it’s my first post here, not about religion stuff but I trust you will give me good advices on something a little bit urgent for me.

I’m 16yo and the next month my parents are going to renew the annual parental control subscription fee. I asked them not to do that, but nope, then I asked for some other one less invasive parental control since with this current one they can see almost everything on my phone and pc (all the messages, emails, apps, broswer history… everything, even my photos and the gps position), still no way, my mom just only answered “I’m entirely sure you need this one”. I cannot install new apps by myself because it’s all blocked, everytime I have to ask them to do that, check the app, if approved unblocking the parental control with their password, install it, reblocking parental control . Everything rated over the “everyone10+” is blocked, they know all of my websites/apps passwords, I’ve zero access to the phone and pc settings and there’s an automatic scheduled screen time up to an hour a day on weekdays (mainly only in the late afternoon) and two hours and half on weekend days, then everything will be blocked for both phone and pc. I asked for more time, like an hour and a half, and my mom think it’s too much …but is it really?

I’ve never been involved in any problem with technology or internet, I’ve nothing to hide, I’m not phone addicted, straight A students, I respect my parents decisions but this time it’s so hard for me. I know I’ve just to obey them but this seems really too restrictive to me, I feel like they are in some way influenced by the disciplining of my younger sisters, like confusing me with my 11 and 12yo sisters and treating all of us in the same way without considering the fact in two years I’ll be an adult (anyway, this is just another big topic). I’m just asking for a step torwards my independence that means a little less parental supervision, or better, a not total parental supervision in everything, but my mom told me she unavoidably needs all this control to ensure everything about me is good, that there’s no way to discipline without supervision, control and proofs, that all of this is just to make the best for me and I should be grateful for their care, if I’ve nothing to hide it shouldn’t be a problem for me …but it makes me feel like a young kid or like the only teen to have all these screen restrictions, feeling like I’ve no space to grow up.

I’m not asking them to have zero control on this stuff but I just believe it’s all too much (or better too few time, freedom of choice and personal space) so I would like once again to talk politely to them once again about this too much limiting parental control, bringing the best valid statements to avoid the new subscription. I feel I’ve only another chance to do that because bringing up an argument too many times would be considered manipulation and disobedience, I would be punished for that probably loosing all the screen time.

Am I wrong? Until what age complete parental control on phone and pc is right? How can I convince them to change opinion about it? Please help me, it will be for another entire year! :frowning:


#2

We cannot, according to both the Catechism and the forum guidelines, tell you to do anything to disobey your parents unless they are asking you to do something immoral. It would further be irresponsible. However, I can say that you should talk to them if you feel their control is excessive. As long as you continue to live under the same roof, however, there’s not much else you can do. Just say a prayer for them whenever they frustrate you.


#3

As long as you are on their internet -


#4

Parenting is a tough job, and it’s even tougher nowadays with the outside culture being what it is.

What would you do if you had fewer restrictions? What do you want to look at or do that you don’t want your folks to know about?

Anyway, be patient with them. They don’t seem abusive, just strict. They have your best interests at heart, even if you don’t agree on the methods.

And yes, it is hard being on the receiving end of rules. :slightly_smiling_face:

Peace


#5

I think it’s more about maturity and earned trust than age. While cellphones were not something that people generally had when I was a child the general rule applied when it came to governance of equipment was the person that paid for it made the decisions about it. Even if you were an adult as long as they own the line and pay the bill it’s their phone and their decision.

I know this limits freedom, but kids do get themselves in serious trouble with phones. This is a protective measure.

Specifically on the phone o do not believe you can. However, if you demonstrate discipline and self control in life on general you may be granted more freedom or at least in a better position to request it.


#6

Your parents can do whatever they want regarding this issue. You are not too old to be monitored until you’re an adult living on your own (i.e. your parents aren’t your primary care providers anymore) and paying your own phone bill. I understand this may be annoying and inconvenient, but they are your parents, and you should obey them and be respectful about this decision of theirs.

Don’t try to convince them to change their minds. They are your parents. Respect what they are doing.


#7

I think teenagers spend too much time on the phone,. When I was 16, I spent much of my waking hours working at a greasy spoon after spending my mornings in my hard scrabble inner city high school.

My parents believed in free range parenting, and as long as I made it home at a reasonable hour, that all they could expect.

In other words, you shouldn’t be on the phone that much anyhow- get out and actually do things , work, study, whatever, while you still have the boundless energy of youth.


#8

I’m pretty sure my boundless energy ended at 10…

But still, yes OP, get off the phone unless it’s a necessity. Take it from a brand new 18yo who spent much of her time on her phone. Live life in the present real world. Make friends with real people around you. Allow yourself to get bored. Creativity manifests in boredom.

I need to take my own advice.


#9

Look at it from another angle they love you they care about you and they care so much and love you so much that they want to make sure nothing you get into gives you trouble. You’ll be an adult soon enough and can be out of their watch. Be THANKFUL they care----many don’t.


#10

I would say that the parental control app is 100% appropriate while under 18 and still appropriate for adults until they are paying for their own cell phone bill.

In other words, as long as you are under 18 and/or on their cell phone bill, the parental control app is 100% acceptable.

NOTE: some wives place their husbands on it due to porn.

God bless


#11

You know what… I would also like to say this… I don’t think it’s about not trusting you.

I think it’s about not trusting strangers on the internet.

We lock our doors not because we are afraid of our kids from leaving the house, but because we are afraid of bad people coming in.

The internet is FILLED with sin… Anything and everything from: cyber bullying, porn, identity theft, human trafficking, etc. Protecting you and their bank accounts from these criminals and degenerates is actually a good thing.

So again, don’t look at it as they don’t trust you. They simply don’t trust the criminals on the internet. Protecting you from the online criminals and degenerates is no different than them protecting you from neighborhood criminals and degenerates.

Honestly, its truly a sign that they love you and are keeping themselves aware of all the dangers out there.

Finally, keep this in mind. Steve Jobs (before he died) was asked what kind of iPhone and iPad his kids had… he replied with: “I don’t allow them to have them.” There are a few other tech world pioneers (including Bill Gates) who also do not allow their kids to have smart devices.

So some serious food for thought.

God bless and know that your parents love you very much.


#12

I need to put a timer on my own internet usage! :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree that it’s not so much a trust issue, as it is a balance issue, perhaps.

You need to spend your time in the real world, doing real world-y things. You don’t need to get sucked into the giant time sink that is the online world. When you’re older-- 18+, off to college, doing your own thing, paying for your own plan— you can use your own discipline to do stuff like “go to bed on time” and “eat right” and “not waste productive time doing unproductive stuff”. But right now, your parents are using the parental controls to force you into good habits, in the hopes you’ll maintain them when you have more independence, and they’re not there to stand over your shoulder.

Because, honestly, you’re not really using your phone or the internet for productivity. I bet it’s primarily entertainment. So go diversify the entertainment that appeals to you-- not just screen time (tv, video games), but other things that are engaging and fun.


#13

I don’t really want disobey them, if I would do that I wouldn’t be here asking for advice. I cannot even see a way to do that in this situation.


#14

Probably just the thing I’m doing now, maybe some day spending just a little more time on phone and pc, be less worried about what my friends write to me, but mainly I think I would just feel myself more treated like girls of my age, parents trust, and growing up a little bit.

Yes, they are super strict but I never thought they were abusive. We have a good relationship and I love them, I know they just want me to be safe and they are trying to do the best for me. I was just wondering if they are really considering the situation for what it is, if they are missing something and if I could let them notice this.

Thanks for your comment, it just makes me feel understood.


#15

Maybe I’m wrong, but honestly I’m doing my best to demonstrate discipline and it would be very hard to be in a better position. I know it’s a protective measure too, I just wondering if they could use some still protective measure but less invasive.
Thanks


#16

As I wrote before I was just wondering if they are really considering the situation for what it is, if they are missing something and if I could let them notice this. Your comment make me wonder if I’m just disrespecting them trying to change their minds or if I’m looking for advice for a good cause. I wonder if I should give up the idea of talking to them once again and just accept another year with this parental control. I wonder if they are considering how it make me feel, that would be my main topic of conversation to change their decision, but honestly I think they already noticed it, probably I should not feeling myself this way, it’s just hard …thinking. Thank you.


#17

I spend big part of my daily screen time limited to one hour for my homework, sometime I’ve even to ask my parents to unblock the pc for some more time to finish homework. Often I’ve not even remaining time to answer a simple message. Anyway thanks for your comment.


#18

Also, it helps to remember-- your parents remember a time when there was no internet. :slight_smile:

So for people who are on one side of that divide, the internet is far more critical to their ordinary, everyday lives, than it is to people who remember getting along without it, and think it’s perfectly fine and healthy for others to not rely on it overly much as well. :slight_smile: To people who remember a time without smartphones/the internet, it’s a tool— faster to look up information than the encyclopedia, but the encyclopedia still exists. Faster to write a report in Microsoft Word, but pen and paper still exists. Quick way to get in touch with someone, but not the only form of communication. But to people who have never known a time without it, it’s more like electricity or running water-- difficult to imagine life without! :slight_smile:


#19

Thanks a lot Agatha, that’s very encouraging. I need to remember your words about this other point of view, a day seems to me always too short for all the things I would do. :grinning:


#20

It seems like the common clear position of all of you, so probably you are right and I just need to figure out what is wrong in my thoughts.

This helps to understand. Thanks


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