How Can I Monitor My Child’s Text Messages?

We always recommend that you use Our Family Agreement to set expectations around how you will ‘Parent Technology.’ Open communication builds trust and mitigates major conflicts before they arise. We recommend that parents stipulate that they will always know their child’s passcodes, so you can periodically review activity.  

Beyond spot checking your child’s device, you can also sign up for Bark, a monitoring service that will notify you if it flags any potential issues. While you can’t read specific text message, you will be able to see the activity in question. We’ve tested it extensively and are very impressed with its capabilities. Teens also appreciate that it provides some semblance of privacy.

Lastly, if you have a spare device–an old iPad or iPhone that is not actively being used, you can set it up to receive your child’s texts. Here’s how: 

  • Go to Settings and tap the profile at the top
  • Scroll down to sign out the current user
  • Sign back in with your child’s Apple ID (you will need to know the password too)
  • Still under Settings, scroll down to Messages and tap
  • Under Send Receive, make sure that your child’s Apple ID and phone number are listed

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