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“Get off your phone!!”

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

iOS 12 operating system now allows more control over your teenager’s phone

Have you ever found yourself wondering how much time your child or teenager is actually spending on their iPhone or iPad? You aren’t alone.

Teenagers are using phones and technology more than any other generation before and with each new model that is released, more teenagers and children are joining the Smartphone Club.

Unfortunately, as more teenagers own phones, more time is being spent texting friends and engaging on various social media platforms—with very limited adult supervision.

Regardless of what brought their family to therapy, every parent is concerned about their child and teen’s use of their smartphone. A few examples of questions I am consistently being asked include:

“What rules should I be enforcing with her cell phone?” “How do I talk to my children about sexting and sending inappropriate comments to others?” “When do I buy my child a cell phone? All of their friends have one and I don’t want my child to feel excluded.”

One of the biggest struggles parents have with technology is setting limits, specifically how many hours should the child be allowed to be on the phone, what time should their child shut off their phone, and what kind of material should the child have access to?

Prior to the iOS 12 operating system, parents were limited in monitoring how long their child was on their phone. Unless you set a timer and didn’t allow the child to have the phone out of your sight, you really had no idea how long they were on their phone.

But all of it was a pure guess as to how long your child or teen was on the phone for.

In addition, once your child is on a social media platform, the ability to regularly monitor their use is very difficult, if not impossible to do.

I do tell the parents of my clients to assume that your child knows how to remove the parental blocks on all types of technology.

Your child is brilliant and way more technologically advance than what you may believe!

Luckily, many of these problems are solved with the new system insights that are available with iOS 12

The new screen time option allows you to monitor how much time you and your children are spending on applications, websites, and more.

There are numerous settings that you can set including: Downtime, App limits, Always allowed, and Content and privacy restrictions.

Finally, parents are now able to shut off applications after a designated amount of time! You can also have specific apps shut off during your “downtime,” while also being able to block inappropriate content, downloads, and purchases!

Why Is This Beneficial?

There are numerous reasons why being able to control your child’s phone is beneficial but I will only discuss the top three concerns that commonly arise in my office.

First, there is a growing amount of concern regarding children using their cell phones during the school day and not fully engaging in the classroom.

Parents are able to use the Downtime setting and block certain applications from being used throughout the day. Ideally, this will deter a child from scrolling through Facebook or Instagram while in the classroom.

Next, some parents would like to be able to completely block apps like Snapchat due to the temptation of sexting and sending inappropriate content. By blocking certain applications, parents are able to monitor their children’s communication with others.

Finally, children and teens are sleeping fewer hours a day because they are on their phones throughout the night. Shutting off all applications will likely reduce the temptation to stay on the phone texting their new boyfriend or girlfriend or scrolling through social media posts.


Although the growing amount of phone use has been drastically increasing throughout the years, parents are finally able to set better limits on their children and teen’s phones with the new iOS 12 operating system.

  • Can you imagine having less stress because you know your teen is not on their phone during school and while in bed and knowing that you have more control over the material they are viewing?

What do you think about these new system insights?

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