This post shares how (and why) I monitor my child’s texts. As parents of three daughters, Zane and I did this with the older two and are now doing it with our youngest (who just recently got her first iPhone).
First, I’ll explain the “why” behind the monitoring, then I’ll share the “how” for those who might want to do the same. This is not for everyone, it is just how we choose to stay on top of things as best we can in the texting arena.
Why we monitor our child’s texts:
- Texting requires exercising great judgement and maturity. We feel compelled to train our kids how to handle this freedom. Some kids require more monitoring than others, but all need some training.
- Text messages can easily be read in the wrong context. Most kids aren’t naturally adept at composing texts with the nuances in tone needed for proper context. Reading and re-reading before pressing send is a good idea for anyone, especially novice texters.
- Texting gives many kids a feeling of anonymity that can embolden them to say things they might never say in person. Monitoring can help us catch such things early so that correction and training can take place.
- Monitoring texts can help us discern and navigate potentially harmful relationships.
- Reading a child’s texts offers great opportunity for training in spiritual, social, emotional, and communication skills. If done in a loving way, we hope that our parental “snooping” can lead to great opportunities to pour loving guidance into our kids’ hearts.
Below, I describe below how I set up my Mac to read my child’s messages. The messages show up on my Mac in real time, and texts deleted from the phone are not deleted from the Mac. I am not technical, but thankfully I have Apple One to One, so an Apple genius set this up for me. (For any Mac user who wants to stay tech savvy, Apple One to One is the best $100 per year you’ll ever spend, hands down.)
How it works: If you have a Mac or iPad, you simply create a new user account for the child that you log into whenever you want to read texts. You log into his or her account, click on the iMessage icon, and you will see all the texts that are being sent or received by the child (including video messages).
Note: If the child deletes texts on his or her iPhone, these texts will still show up on the parent’s Mac in the child’s user account.
Before setting up a user account, you will need to know your administrator password (required to make changes to your computer), your Apple ID and password, and your child’s icloud username and password. If your child doesn’t have an iCloud account, you can quickly create one before following the process below.
How To Set Up A User Account to Monitor Texts:
- Go to system preferences.
- Click on users & groups (icon of two grey people near bottom of screen).
- Click on the lock icon at bottom left of screen; enter administrator password.
- Click on the + sign (located under “login options”)
- Click on “new account” to get a dropdown menu.
- In “new account” tab at top of page, choose “standard.”
- In “full name” write your child’s name or what you want to call his/her account.
- Choose “use iCloud password.”
- Enter child’s iCloud password.
- Click on “create user.”
Now, each time you log into your computer, you will see icons of different “users” for the Mac. When you want to read a child’s texts, simply log into his/her account on the desktop, enter the password (you create this when you set up user account), and click on the iMessage icon.
It does take time for messages to load, especially if you don’t check texts daily. It can take up to 10 minutes for all iMessages to show up after logging into a new account.
I hope this works for those of you who want to set this up on your computer. This is not my area of expertise, but it worked for me after a little trial and error:-)
I appreciate all of my readers and love hearing from you, so feel free to leave comments. Thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!