Thursday, November 9, 2017

Got Kids? You Need This App.

Hey guys!  Today I wanted to share a quick app that has taken away so much stress and worry when it comes to my kids and their electronics.  

It's called Kidslox. 

It's kind of amazing.  

And I wish someone would have told me about it sooner.

  So I'm passing it on to you in case it's something you might need as well.  :)

As a disclaimer, this post is NOT sponsored in any way and I am in no way affiliated with them.  I just love the app and wanted to share it with my mama friends. 


Matthew and Mason both have their own devices.  Matthew uses Craig's iPad more than Craig does so it's basically his and Mason has a very old Samsung phone with a cracked screen that dies every half hour and then I recently gave him my perfectly good iPhone 6...except that battery dies just as fast...which is why I upgraded and why he now has 2 battery-challenged phones.

Oh.  And within a week, he'd shattered the glass on that phone as well.  (Insert giant eye roll here).  #accidentpronechild


Anyway, the phones are not "real" phones.  They just use them to play games. They can't make calls or anything but they can text me from the iPhone/iPad using iMessage.  


Now that they are starting to get older (ages 7 and 9), I have been a little more stressed trying to keep them from accidentally seeing something that they cannot UNSEE on YouTube or the internet.  We have a no YouTube rule...it is so easy to stumble upon bad things there, friends.  

YouTube Kids is a really great option.  My kids love to watch random videos on there especially the funny "fails".  They LOVE those!  And of course the videos of other people playing Minecraft.  Why that's interesting, I have no idea.

(Edited to add this:  I saw the article floating around Facebook awhile back about weird/bad things popping up in YouTube Kids.  I watched a ton of videos that my kids watch regularly and a few I thought they might click on and never saw anything.  I'm sure there is some truth to that article but we are allowing it.  We did have a talk about letting us know if they see anything strange or anything that they know shouldn't be there.  Or if they hear any bad words.  I hate that there are those sick people out there who want to sneak bad things into stuff for kids.  This world sucks sometimes.)

But on regular YouTube, you would be amazed at what some of the innocent videos can lead to.  My neighbor said her son was looking at Minecraft videos on YouTube one day and she looked down and noticed that all of those "suggested videos" on the side were definitely NOT PG.  Not good.


My kids are only allowed to download apps with permission (password protected) and aren't allowed to go on YouTube or the internet at all.  But honestly, how would I know if they did do those things?  My kids aren't perfect.  They are kids.  And they have friends.  Some of whom are older and have been introduced to newer things that they may be eager to show off to my kids.  (Nooooooo!!!!)


I wanted more control over what they could and couldn't see and I didn't want to have to hover over their shoulders the whole time they were playing games.  So I did some googling on parental controls and found this.

Hello, Kidslox.

Here's what they say about their app.

Our parental controls let you block apps, block internet and filter web content with ease. One account is all you need to protect as many iPhones, iPads, iPods, Android phones and tablets and other mobile devices as you have in your family. Prioritise your family time now by placing daily limits on your child's screen time. Parental control has never been so easy.

Exactly what I needed.  Kidslox gives you a free 2 week trial and then after that it's only $2.99 a month.

Here are some of my favorite aspects of it.

It's so easy to install.  You install the app on your phone and then each device you want to be able to control.  When you get on the app on your phone (which is password protected on all devices), you are able to tap on each device and set it up however you need.


I can set restrictions (lock them out of the internet, YouTube, certain apps etc), set daily limits for screen time so that it locks them out once they've hit their set limit and create a schedule for when it is in "Child Mode" and when it is in "Lockdown Mode".


I love that I can tap on each device and choose to lock it down immediately if I want.  Like when they won't get off Minecraft and come do their homework.  Instead of arguing, I just tap lockdown.  Done.


With both boys, I've pretty much got everything locked down except their apps/games.  And I am able to see each game and the rating for it as well.  With the Samsung however, I can even go in and lock/unlock each individual app.  For some reason, it doesn't give me that option with the iphone/ipad but if I see something I don't like, I can just go to their device and delete it.  They aren't able to download anything without my password, so it's not a problem anyway.


I've also got it set so that each device goes into lockdown at a certain time during the week and unlocks each morning at a certain time as well.

I do this for a couple of reasons.  One is because Mason loves to use his phone as his alarm clock so he takes it to his room with him at night.  I knew the temptation to stay up late playing Minecraft would be too hard to pass up so I have it set so it goes into lockdown every weeknight at 8:15 (or earlier if I override it) and it won't work again until 7am.  This keeps him from waking up at 5am to play on his phone which he would absolutely do if he could.

On Friday and Saturday nights, I have it set so they can play until 10:00 but they rarely make it that late anyway.  It is a great way to get them to go to bed though.  They like to run upstairs and get in bed so that they have a little time to play before it shuts down for the night.  So that's an unexpected bonus!


You can also set Daily Limits for each device to limit screen time.  My kids play outside and/or with their friends every day after school so too much screen time is not much of an issue at our house.  But if it does become one, we can set it so they have, for example, an hour of screen time a day.  Once their hour is used up, it goes into lockdown again.  

I absolutely love this app and hope all of my kids' friends parents will use this or something similar as well.  I know we all want our kids to be protected and this is an easy and inexpensive way to help with that.  

So I hope you found this helpful!!  I know there are lots of other apps/software that can be used to do these sorts of things but this one is definitely working for me at the moment and I wanted to pass it along.  It takes a village, friends!

See you back here tomorrow for some really fun Friday Favorites!!


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15 comments

  1. I'm getting this NOW!!!!

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  2. Sounds like a great app!
    I had to ban YouTube kids. Apparently, it is not filtered for kid programming and parents have seen insane characters pop up to say horrible things and pornographic images. I didn't like the crazy voices and watching "surprise eggs" made my girls seem like addicts (or little obsessive zombies). Parenting is so difficult at times. Good luck!

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    1. I saw the article floating around Facebook awhile back about that and got nervous too! Mine just watch those "kid fails" videos (like America's Funniest Home Videos type things) and then the Minecraft ones. Or Dude Perfect. I watched a ton of videos after I read that article to see if I saw anything crazy and didn't, thank goodness. But I'm sure it's out there! We had a talk about coming to tell me immediately if they see anything weird pop up or if anyone says a bad word, and they are both big time rule followers (for now) so I think they would. I hate that we can't protect them from everything!! 😩😩😩

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  3. Thank you for sharing this! both of my boys are getting iPads for Christmas so it will be the first time we are dealing with trying to filter content. I have this app bookmarked for once we get them set up!

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  4. This is amazing! I am definitely going to Pin this idea for later if and when I ever have kids and share with my friends who do!
    XO
    Rebecca @ EveryPieceFits.com

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  5. I wish there would have been something like this when my kids were little but back then, we didn't have as much bad stuff as there is now. Yes, it was there but it wasn't as easily accessed. Aren't sick people the worst???

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  6. This is such a helpful post. Thanks Amanda.

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  7. Great information! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Thanks for the helpful information. My kids (ages 14 and 15) have phones with cell service...I wonder if this app only works to control wifi usage or if it can control usage with cell service? I would love to have a shutdown from 9pm-6am. Speaking of trying to protect our kids, my husband and I figured out that we really don't want to have the evening news on when the family is around. The descriptions of abuse that they discuss on the news are just way too detailed for what I want to hear in my living room.

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    1. I think I read a review that said it only works with wi-fi. :( And yes, we don't watch the news of any kind with the kids in the room either! The only TV they watch is the Disney channel, HGTV or kids shows on Netflix. I want to keep them as innocent as possible for as long as I can.

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  9. Ok this is AWESOME!! I wonder if it works with both Apple & Android? We have Iphones but the kids have Kindle Fire tablets, hmmm I'll have to read up on it! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Oh I need to get this NOW! I have an almost 13 year and this is PERFECT! Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Thank you so much for posting about this! Downloading now! You're right, it takes a village!!! :)

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  12. Very nice app thanks for sharing

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