The average teen sends and receives 3,339 text messages each month, according to data firm Nielsen. That means your child has 3,339 opportunities to share with friends, send pictures and stay social. But it could also mean sending and receiving messages that you don't necessarily approve of. When you want to view a log of your child's iPhone message activity, honesty and openness may be the best policy. Otherwise, using spying apps and programs might be your only option.
Regular iPhone Checks
If you trust your child to not delete iPhone messages to keep them under wraps, you can easily view the message log on her phone by tapping on the Messages icon from her home screen. There, you'll see a comprehensive list of everyone she's texted, including pictures and videos sent as part of those messages. You can have regular scheduled checks or surprise checks to see what your child is sending and receiving without giving her notice to delete contraband messages.
Onboard Monitoring Apps
You can install an onboard monitoring app on your child's phone as a contingency for getting the use of a smart phone. Several apps, including Mobile Spy, Stealth Genie, TextGuard and Mobistealth can be downloaded on your child's phone. Even if your child tries to delete text messages, onboard apps save the information to easily review the texts through the onboard app, or from a remote location with software. This allows you to see all of your child's iPhone activities as well. Just make sure that you enable Restrictions and then turn off the ability to delete apps to stop your child from getting rid of a monitoring app.
If you'd rather your child didn't know that you're monitoring her text messages, you can use remote software that allows you to review a log of her messages on your computer, rather than using an app on her phone. Software like TeenSafe uses a program on your computer, paired with your child's Apple ID to begin downloading information about her activities. You'll be able to see a full text message logs and your child will never know -- unless you decide to tell her.
While monitoring your child's text messages can alert you to any risky behavior, prevention is the best policy when it comes to being texting smart. Before you hand over an iPhone, talk to your child about what is and isn't OK to send via text and make her use of an iPhone contingent upon following the rules that you've set. Some smart guidelines include never sending pictures that she wouldn't want you -- or the whole school -- to see, never bullying via text and never texting someone she doesn't already know personally. If you do view her text messages and find that she's breaking rules, remove the iPhone to show a no-tolerance attitude toward unsafe texting.