Today's youth have access to so many things via the internet. They can access the internet from almost anywhere with any device they have in their hands. This is great for some things, but for others, this can be horrible. How do you keep yourself and your entire family accountable?
Our family has had the chance to check out the Family Plan from Accountable2You. This is an internet accountability/monitoring system for almost every device that you have in your house. I was super excited to try this out and I am happy to tell you all about it!
Accountable2You is a Christian based company that has a goal to build character through accountability. They opened in August of 2006 and since than they have built software for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Chrome. We even used this on our Kindles.
There are multiple different options for membership. You can do the Individual Plan which will give you up to 6 devices. There is also a Small Business Plan. This is great for the small businesses. You can have access for unlimited devices with the plan. And there is the Family Plan, the one we used.
The Family Plan lets you use this app on up to 20 devices, you have unlimited accountability partners, create child user accounts and set time limit alerts for each account. This is great for a family and covered all our devices without a problem.
We set up accounts on the major devices, those that were used without parental supervision 24/7 first. These were the ones that the kids took to their rooms, or those that stayed in the pocket of a teenager almost all the time. Mom was the accountability partner, so I would be able to get the notifications if something was off.
It was very easy to set up the accounts and the chat option was awesome when I had any questions. When I used that during open hours, I had an answer almost instantly. I had the accounts set up within about an hour and was happy to be able to check in on the devices as I wanted. This was something that I have wanted for some time, as the kids are learning to explore the internet more and more. I don't want them to feel restricted, but I want them to be accountable for what they are doing.
When setting each device up, I could pick and choose many different options. First, I made myself the accountability partner for the kids. After talking with daddy and knowing that he goes to bed early and I stay up late, we decided that I would get the notifications if someone was on when they weren't supposed to be. Next I set up time limits. I picked the normal night hours of 10:30pm until 6am. If any of the devices decided to try anything between those times, I would get a message. This allowed the kids to bring the kindles to bed for reading or music, and I could trust that they were shut off at the right time.
Finally, I made a simple list of objectionable words. These are the words that I want to know if they are being pulled up. I want to make sure that they are not doing what they know they shouldn't. I want them to be accountable. This gives them the choice on their own. I don't have to be a dragon breathing down their necks watching everything they do. They can take the device and use it, but use it in the right way.
While Moe Man was a little hesitant at first with this program, he found out it was better than he thought. He was worried that this would be a program that would need a password or would be hard to use. When I handed him his phone and Kindle after installing the app, he was happy to see there was nothing noticeable to him. He didn't have to come to me for anything and could go about using his devices as he wanted. This was a great thing to win the approval of the teenage boy. Knowing that I was checking in, gave him that extra boost to make the right choices.
Ray Ray loves to read before bed, and we have a lot of Kindle books that interest him, as well as digital library books. He takes the Kindle to bed often and I love knowing that I can make sure he is just reading and not trying to fib me. He did not know anything about the Accountable2You app until I pulled up the report in front of him asking about why he was on Netflix one night. Since then, he knows that he should make the right choices.
I love being able to hop on the computer and pull up a report of any of the devices. I can do a 24-hour report all the way to 15 days. This report shows me EVERYTHING that the devices do. Well, almost. Apple has not allowed full access to their devices. We can download the web browser and I can see what they are searching for on the web, but that is about it. I think Apple needs to change their mind, because as a mom, I love being able see what the kids are doing when on the devices, and to trust that they are making the right choices while still being a mom and checking in.
Are you a family with devices that the kids have access to? Do you want them to be accountable for their time on the device? You should check out Accountable2You and see if this is something that you could take advantage of! Want to hear other opinions? Check out the reviews here!