The monqi device looks just like a regular smartphone, however, it is completely controlled by the parents via an app that prompts them to introduce screen-free time for their kids.
As well as scheduling how much time their children are allowed to use the phone and creating digital boundaries, the monqi phone and app ensures that all contacts and app downloads are pre-approved by the parents, making it one of the safest devices on the market too.
This may be reassuring to some parents as a recent study* found that by the age of 14 the average child will have sent more than 35,000 texts, 30,000 WhatsApp messages and racked up more than three solid weeks of video chat. Over half of under-14s said their phone is the first thing they check in the morning and last thing at night.
Frederik Albrechtsen, founder of monqi, says: “As a father of two young children I wanted to get them started with tech in the best possible way, so I searched for a solution that would keep them safe and manage their usage, but I was unable to find something that ticked all the boxes. So, I created monqi, the first comprehensive solution that promotes healthy phone habits from the start.”
The monqi smartphone claims to be unique in a number of ways; it is the only kids’ smartphone to receive the prestigious Mumsnet Rated accreditation, the parental controls are part of the phone’s operating system and cannot be deleted or turned off and finally it is the only parental app that allows the phone to be controlled remotely by the parents.
Other parent friendly features include approval of all contacts and downloads, geo-fencing so that you always know where your child is, the ability to limit app use, calls, texts and data use.
The top 10 smartphone worries for parents (*Research by OnePoll; 1000 UK parents and 1000 UK children aged 8-14 years. November 2017)
1. Kids accessing inappropriate content
2. Children may be targeted by strangers
4. Receiving nasty messages
5. They’ll be on the phones too late into the night, disturbing their sleep
6. Worried kids will drop/break phone
7. Will be glued to the phone and stop listening
8. Kids not concentrating in class
9. Bullying about handset
10. Phone will get stolen
CEO of Internet Matters Carolyn Bunting, says: “While figures around children’s internet usage may seem shocking to parents, we need to recognise they become digital natives at a very young age; learning, communicating and growing up online.
“Parents need to have early conversations with their children about the importance of screen time limits and staying safe online, essentially they need to stay in tune with their children’s digital lives.”