Setting Up Parental Controls on Your Child’s Smartphone: A Comprehensive Guide

As the digital world expands, children are being introduced to smartphones at a younger age. As a responsible parent, it’s crucial to ensure your child’s online safety. This article provides a comprehensive guide on setting up parental controls on your child’s Android or iOS devices using your iPhone.

1. Introduction to Parental Controls

Parental controls are software tools that allow parents to monitor and limit what their child does on their digital devices. They can be used to block inappropriate content, control in-app purchases, set screen time limits, and even track the device’s location [^1^].

Note: Half of all children in the US own a smartphone by the age of 11[^1^]. Therefore, setting up parental controls is not just recommended, but necessary.

2. Built-in Parental Controls: Android vs iOS

Both Android and iOS offer built-in parental controls. These controls allow you to manage what your child sees and does on their device.

2.1 Android Parental Controls

For Android devices, the parental controls can be set up through the Google Family Link app[^1^]. This app is available on both Android[^1^] and iOS[^1^].

2.2 iOS Parental Controls

On iOS devices, parental controls can be set up through Apple’s Family Sharing feature[^3^]. This feature allows you to control everything from App Store purchases to web filters.

3. Setting Up Parental Controls on Android

To set up parental controls on an Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Install and run the Google Family Link app on your phone[^1^].
  2. Create a Google account for your child and link it to your account[^1^].
  3. Sign in on your child’s Android device using the new account details[^1^].
  4. Manage the controls through the Family Link app on your device[^1^].

Tip: You can block apps, set screen time limits, manage Google Search filters, and even set limitations on the Google Play Store[^1^].

4. Setting Up Parental Controls on iOS

To set up parental controls on an iOS device, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone[^1^].
  2. Tap on your name at the top of the screen[^1^].
  3. Select Family Sharing, Add Member, and Create an Account for a Child[^1^].
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to create a new child account[^1^].
  5. Use the new Apple ID to identify your child on their iPhone[^1^].

Note: After creating the child account, you can set some restrictions on the child’s device[^1^].

5. Third-Party Parental Control Apps

Apart from the built-in parental controls, there are several third-party apps and services available that offer additional control over your child’s smartphone use[^1^].

Two such examples include:

  1. Qustodio[^1^]: This app offers comprehensive parental control features, including content restrictions, app and screen time limits, and activity reports.
  2. Microsoft Family Safety[^3^]: This offers similar features to Qustodio and is a good choice if your child uses multiple devices.

6. In-App Controls

Certain apps, like TikTok and Instagram, have built-in parental controls[^1^]. These in-app controls allow you to set limitations on Instagram time and followers[^1^].

7. Interactions Between Android and iOS

Suppose you have an Android phone but want to monitor your child who has an iPhone. You can use FamilyTime[^2^]. This app lets you monitor and set parental controls on your child’s iPhone from your Android device[^2^].

Google Family Link allows you to set screen time limits on your child’s Android device[^4^]. When a limit is set, your child will get a notification[^4^].

Note: When the device is locked, your child won’t be able to see notifications, unlock the device, or use any apps[^4^].

9. Setting Daily Device Limits

You can set daily device limits using the Family Link app[^4^]. These limits apply to each Android device or Chromebook your child uses[^4^].

10. Setting Downtime

Downtime can be set from the Family Link app[^4^]. During downtime, your child’s device will be locked[^4^].

Tip: You can also limit screen time for specific apps[^4^].

[^1^]: Source 1
[^2^]: Source 2
[^3^]: Source 3
[^4^]: Source 4