School’s out for the summer! With that being said, bedtimes are a thing of the past, and more freedom is given. However, a significant concern of mine has been how much time my kids spend online, not only on their mobile devices but also on their gaming systems as well. What if I told you that there was a way to monitor and curb those online activities? T-Mobile is here to help with FamilyMode, and I’m here to tell you all about it.
I hear it all the time “kids are so different these days from when we were growing up”. Are they really? Sure the times have changed, but kids aren’t necessarily different. They still love playing with their friends and running around in the sprinklers on a hot day. They love drawing on the sidewalk with chalk during the summer, and they sure do enjoy their video games.
What has changed is the way we parent. Technology has made everything so convenient for us that it’s much easier for me to text or call my son on his cell phone to say “get in the kitchen and do the dishes,” instead of walking downstairs. Sure we played outdoors much more than they did, but once again, it’s that technology.
Our home is entirely connected, and I like to consider my house a smart home. There are smart devices everywhere, TV’s all have built-in WiFi, and the kids each have their own gaming device (even Madison). So when waking up almost midnight one day to find the kids still on their Xbox Ones they received at Christmas (maybe a big mistake?) Madison still awake and playing Roblox, Kyle screaming at someone on PUBG, and my younger son Mikael playing Fortnite, I knew something had to change.
INTRODUCING T-MOBILE FAMILYMODE! WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
Before you begin calling me an unfit parent. Think about this?
Besides unplugging all devices at night, which can be a pain since it would mean moving furniture around, how else can I monitor their online screen time? Since they each have their own room, plugs can be replugged while I’m sound asleep all unbeknownst to me. Kids are smarter and more resilient than you think.
With FamilyMode there is no need to unplug! I control ALL the smart devices in my home all on an app on my mobile device, thanks to the T-Mobile FamilyMode Home Base, which is connected to my home’s WiFi system. Once again, technology for the win, but this time it’s on my side!
FamilyMode allows me to manage, monitor, filter and set time limits for my children’s phones, tablets, gaming consoles, laptops, smart TVs and the other Wi-Fi-connected devices in my home. All for only $20 out of pocket for the device and $10/month for the T-Mobile FamilyMode app!
IT WAS ALL SO EASY! HOW EASY IS IT?
Just take your FamilyMode Home Base out of the box. Plug in the base to your power outlet, then connect it directly to your home’s router or wirelessly to your WiFi. Pair it with your FamilyMode App, and you’re all set to go, once you’ve set up your kids’ profile. I currently have all 3 of my kids being monitored on the app.
WHAT CAN IT DO?
Set daily internet limits on apps or platforms
Even though the kids are home for the summer, it doesn’t mean that they should be online at 1am. You can set time limits for weekdays and weekends and even limit how long they can watch TV while in their room. Since each child has a profile, I can set individual bedtime limits so that they all have their internet privilege taken away at a particular time of night. And since this works on ALL Wi-Fi and cellular network-enabled devices, there’s no worry that they’ll have internet access once it’s off.
Choose which platforms, sites, and apps to allow on phones and tablets
I get to pick and choose which site and apps I can restrict. For example, Madison is no longer allowed to watch YouTube videos (or she’ll be on her iPad all day), so now she’s no longer allowed to do so. And it’s all done with a single tap.
Instantly pause and resume mobile internet access
This is one of my favorites! All of my kids have their own individual chore. Before I would have to ask over and over to get it done. Now I don’t even bother. I merely turn their internet access off on EVERY device, and the first time I did so, they came running “the internet isn’t working.” Duh! When you do your chore, you’ll get it back!
Filter out inappropriate content
I can use customizable filters to approve or deny online access to specific sites for each of my kids on their phone and tablet apps. So apps that I don’t think are suitable for Madison are denied, while my older kids have a bit more access to more.
See where your kids spend their time online
Now I can see which apps and websites my kids frequent and use, and even their search history. That used to be impossible to see, and with teens, you can never be too careful.
Read Also: How to Talk to Your Children About Internet Safety
Know where your kids are
While I usually know where my kids are at all times, having that extra peace of mind with real-time location is an added bonus. So if they wander off while we’re at the store or park, or even if they’ve lost their device, I can locate them or their device, no matter where I am, easily. Since I travel extensively, it feels good knowing that I can keep “an eye” on them.
Reward your kids with bonus screen time
Just as I could take their internet away when they’re douches, I can also reward them for being amazing kids. So while they have an allowance of game time, when Kyle or Mikael, or even Madison, do something great, they get some extra game time on their devices. So guess what? There’s no more begging to do chores, and they’re even willing to go that extra mile just to get that added bonus screen time.
With all the ways that T-Mobile FamilyMode helps me take control of my kids’ digital life, I now wonder where was this all along?!
And if you have a T-Mobile ONE family account, you get ALL these extra Un-carrier benefits at no additional cost:
- Family Allowances: you can monitor talk and text usage on the lines on your T-Mobile account. For families, this is an excellent way for parents to manage their kids’ smartphone activity.
- Netflix On Us: through an exclusive partnership, get a standard 2-screen subscription at no extra charge.
- Simple Global: unlimited text and data roaming and low flat-rate calling in 140+ countries.
- Mobile Without Borders: use your device in Mexico and Canada with unlimited talk, text, and data and up to 5GB of 4G LTE.
- GogoInflight: get unlimited texting all flight long and 1 free hour of smartphone Wi-Fi on all domestic flights.
- DIGITS: use up to five numbers on one device, or use one number on multiple devices.
- MobileHotspot: connect all your devices to the internet with included tethering data.
- Un-contract: only you have the power to change the price you pay.
- Carrier Freedom: we help cover your switching costs.
- T-Mobile Tuesdays: get thanked with free stuff every week just for being a customer.
Now that you know how T-Mobile FamilyMode can make keep your kids’ digital life safe, what are you waiting for? Check out T-Mobile today!