Why Do We Allow Children to Switch Off the Sound Around Feature? | FindMyKids Blog
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Why Do We Allow Children to Switch Off the Sound Around Feature?

The Find My Kids app was created for your parental peace of mind. It keeps children out of trouble in both the real and virtual worlds, thanks to its wide range of features. With the help of it, the following can be done:

  • find out exactly where the child is and which itinerary they take;
  • reach them on the phone, even if it is on silent mode;
  • see how much time the child spends using their gadget and what is of interest to them;
  • turn on the “Sound around” mode and hear what is happening around the child at any given moment.

We will discuss the last point in more detail since changes have been made to this feature.

Contents:

The child can now disable the Sound Around feature on their own

Sound Around raises many questions for children and parents. In fact, it very often becomes a stumbling block in using the app. The privacy policy of Find My Kids implies that the app and the Sound Around feature cannot be installed without the consent of the child. Now, children have the opportunity to disable the function on their own whenever a parent connects to the child’s gadget. This update has been implemented for several reasons. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Reason N°1. We respect the child’s personal space and take their opinions into account

Some children protest against parental control after learning about the Sound Around feature, which is quite understandable: their conversations are part of their private life. They make friends and fall in love, try to swear like adults, discuss taboo topics and want to do all of it without any parental supervision. This surely does not mean that our children are all ill-mannered or are hiding something terrible from us. All what they are doing is simply defending their own boundaries. Imagine that someone has the opportunity to connect to your phone at any time and find out what you are saying to your friend over a cup of coffee? We would probably be in agreement that this is not very pleasant.

It is also difficult for children to accept the fact that someone will listen to their conversations. Moreover, there are parents who, having secretly heard how a child, for example, swears, would punish them. This is certainly why children do not want adults to have their hands on such a control mechanism.

Therefore, in order to help the children to maintain their personal boundaries and their private life, we have given them an opportunity to make the decision on their own.

Reason N°2. We strive to help you to avoid conflicts within the family 

From the parent’s point of view, the Sound Around feature is highly necessary for safety. With its help, a parent can find out if the child is having issues in kindergarten or being bullied at school, as well as collect some evidence of the bullying. It also allows them to find out who the child is out with at any given moment, and what is happening around them.

However, from the child’s point of view, it can be a gross interference in their personal space. Children can easily lose their temper for even lesser reasons, especially in their teens. In order to reduce the number of conflicts between children and their parents, we have given children the option to have some influence on the level of parental control.

Reason N°3. We work on maintaining a relationship based on mutual trust 

The parent-child relationship is a very delicate subject. Children want their parents to trust them and to believe in what they are saying. They want to be asked questions about their life and for them to be listened to. In order to achieve this trust and understanding, there must be at least a small part of the child’s life that is out of the sight of their parents. Trust us, your child won’t turn off the Sound Around if they know that you will not be checking it every two minutes to make sure that they are fine.

Reason N°4. We allow our children to bear a part of the responsibility

One of the main elements of growing up is the ability to take responsibility for our own decisions and actions. You can explain to the child why this function is needed, and why you would like to connect it, however, do leave them the right to make their own decision and take responsibility for their own behavior. Demonstrate to them that you will not keep your finger on the pulse on all aspects of your child’s life. This would be a good rehearsal for them prior to entering adult life.

Reason N°5. The child would still find a way to trick the system 

Children can become very creative in an attempt to avoid parental control. For instance, they “forget” to take a gadget with them, wrap scarves around it to protect them from the sound, and stop monitoring the battery level on their phone. All this not only prevents the usage of the Sound Around but also inhibits the functioning of other features of the gadget. This way, the child not only blocks access to those who surround them at a certain point in time but also prevents you from seeing their location. We think that you would agree that it is better to give the child the choice to connect one function rather than to fully lose the opportunity of ensuring their safety with the help of our app.

The Find My Kids app developers have given the children and their parents an opportunity to come to an agreement and find a flexible solution, taking into account the point of view of each family member. Nevertheless, whether the child agrees to turn on the Sound around or not, will mostly depend on the relationship within the family.

Two main reasons for the child’s or the teenager’s refusal to use the Sound around feature

1. The child is constantly switching off the Sound Around feature, despite your previous agreements

Talk to your child, try to find out what is currently happening in their life in a gentle way. Perhaps they are out with friends and do not want you to hear their conversation? Find a compromise solution to this issue: this can be a mutual agreement to turn the setting off temporarily, a promise not to monitor the phone at a certain given time, or not to use the function without a special need, for example, turning on the Sound Around only when you cannot reach your child, lost them, do not understand where they are, etc.

2. The child refuses to turn the feature on as they have already been scolded for what has been heard on a previous occasion 

Winning back a child’s trust is possible, but it is hard.

  1. First of all, admit your mistake, since you’ve agreed before installing the app that the child would not be punished for their actions and for your findings as a result.
  2. Secondly, you may want to try to return to the “experimental” stage of using the app. The child would most likely be carefully monitoring your actions and testing you out during this period. Do not allow yourself to be provoked and remain calm. Your patience will eventually bring peace and trust to your family.

If a child asks to disable any of the app’s functions, do not scold or suspect them. Most likely, they do not hide terrible secrets and do not want to offend you, they simply have their own life, which they are not ready to share with you. This is particularly applicable to teenagers. They are emancipated, separated from their parents and want their freedom of action. This is an essential part of their growing up, which happens naturally.

How to come to an agreement with a child if they are always turning off the Sound around feature?

Trust lies at the core of the parent-child relationship. The child must know that their parents trust them, love them and accept them, no matter what. The child should also know that if something bad happens, their parents will be able to protect and help them, without punishing and scolding them.

Step 1. Get yourself in the mood for a conversation and resolve all conflicts 

Before talking to your child about the Sound Around feature, make sure that you have a good relationship based on trust, without any unresolved conflicts, and that the child is open to talk. If you understand that the relationship is not in the best state and that a conflict is about to emerge, it would be better to establish a good relationship with the child first and only then talk to them about the app. If this is currently not the case, you will be risking only making the conflict worse.

Step 2. Explain why you are using this feature and the app

Explain to the child what this feature is for and why you would like to use it. It is very important to convey the main idea to the child, telling them that this is done for your peace of mind and their safety.

Read more on How to Negotiate With the Kid About Tracking Their Location? 

Step 3. Discuss the terms of usage with the child in advance

Draw up rules for using the information received together. Discuss in advance under what conditions you will turn on Sound Around, when you will call, and under what situations you will supervise the child’s activity on the phone. You can set a trial period, after which the child can accept or refuse to use this feature.

Step 4. Add some bonuses

Do not be afraid to hear a “no” when asking to turn on the Sound Around. Children can have many fears if, for example, one of their friends was punished because of the app, or someone has had their private life secret revealed. Be patient, listen to objections and provide some favorable arguments.

Do not put pressure on the child since they will have to be under your additional control. Tell them about the following benefits that the child will have:

  1. You will be less likely to call them asking who they are with and where they are.
  2. They will be able to be out for longer because you will not worry for them.
  3. You can always get through to them, which means that there will be no conflicts with regard to parents asking where their child has been and why they have not been picking their phone up.
  4. You will be able to assist them in a timely manner.

Most importantly, we have to remember that the whole purpose of the Find My Kids app and the Sound Around feature is to maintain a calm and healthy atmosphere within the family so that the parents do not worry about their children, and children can call for help very quickly. Respect the personal boundaries of your children, listen to their opinions, and they will do the same to you!

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