The Bark App is protecting 5.2 million children and has prevented 16 school shootings. This is my brutally honest review on this technology-driven parenting app and how the Bark App is changing our family.
I remember looking forward to visiting the public library as a kid. The feeling of walking into air conditioning and the smell of books.
It was perfect.
Then, my siblings and I would sign-up for a computer and spend 20-minutes on the internet. It was completely new to us and we LOVED it!
One day I found myself in a “teen chat-room”, or so I thought the members were teens.
There was one person I found myself chatting with who claimed to be a 15-year old boy living in New York. I was so excited because that was my age (at that time)!
Eventually our many summer chats turned into an invitation for me to come visit him. There was no way I could afford a trip to New York, especially since I lived on the other side of the country!
He offered to pay for my ticket, and told me how to sneak out of my house, so I could meet someone who would give me a ride to the airport.
In less than a minute, that sweet 15-year old boy (or so I thought) turned into someone different.
I told him no, and he was persistent. Then he wouldn’t leave me alone. Not in the chatroom or via my inbox.
Thankfully I didn’t share personal information, such as address, phone number, or photos with him. I hate to think what would have happened if I had. My parents never talked with me about internet safety, but I knew this information was not something you share online.
Eventually this “kid’s” harassment became so relentless that I told him I was telling my parents he wasn’t leaving me alone.
And after that I didn’t hear from him again and I never went into another chat room.
Fast forward several years later, now I have children of my own who are growing up in a tech-driven world.
One of the things I was not prepared for during this time of having our children home to school is the amount of time they spend on the computer.
Our kids went from “Let’s play outside” to “We HAVE to change the fuzzy milly’s from red to purple! Just 5 more minutes of this colors game!”
So my husband and I did sometime to keep our children a little humble…we gave our kids my old college laptop.
You know the one…it’s about five inches thick with the speed of a geriatric hamster running after a slice of Swiss cheese.
Did you have one of those laptops too?
Our kids learned quick that the only websites they will visit on are the ones they need.
Allowing our kids online has always made me a little nervous (okay, a lot), but something has changed our parenting approach with technology…
Our parenting approach with technology used to be like our grandparent’s generation…our kids could have a Facebook or Instagram account when they turn 75.
But we all know this isn’t realistic.
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So we did some extensive research. First, we found the horrifying statistics of children and technology. The ones that seem to knock the wind out of you.
Then my husband found a program we’ve been using that has relieved a great deal of worry from our minds while while allowing our children to experience the goodness of technology.
As parents we cannot expect our children to be soldiers in such a sin-sick world. They are still learning and growing themselves, and as busy parents, we cannot read every text message or browse ever search history.
There needs to be a beautiful balance that allows children to maintain their dignity while protecting them online – and this is where Bark comes in.
Bark monitors your child’s texts, email, YouTube, and 30+ apps and social media platforms for issues like cyber-bullying, adult content, sexual predators, profanity, threats of violence, and more.
Parents receive text or email alert only when something potentially problematic occurs online. You won’t have full access to everything on your child’s phone — just the things you might need to know about to help keep them safe online.
Bark also offers screen time management and web filtering. You and your child can decide how long they need to be online and which website’s you don’t need in your home.
There are two options you can select with your Bark account depending on the level of protection your family needs.
Bark Jr. (their basic plan) provides screen time management and web filtering. This program is $5/month. You can check out this option HERE and snag 20% off your price.
Bark (the highest plan) is a comprehensive solution that includes everything from Bark Jr. PLUS content monitoring targeting for cyber-bullying, threats of violence. sexual predators, and more. This option is $15/month. You can check out this option HERE and snag 20% off your total price.
As always, Bark offers a 7-day FREE trials on both plans for you to test and decide which is best for your family. Once you *know* which plan you would love to have your family join, you can grab 20% off all plans RIGHT HERE!
Bark is incredible with their generous features and their desire to help parents keep their children safe online.
One of the things I love most about Bark is there is currently no limit to the number of children or devices you can upload on your account. This makes Bark the PERFECT parenting app for technology-driven families large or small.
I love that Bark understands each child and their technology needs are different.
Because they understand this, parents have the option of deciding which websites and apps are allowed and which apps and websites will be blocked (on both WiFi and cellular data).
I am so grateful this program exists to help parents today and I wish this company was around when I was a teen, especially with the experiences I had online.
It’s important to remember that Bark does NOT replace the responsibility we hold as parents to help our children, but they make talking to our children (and keeping them safe online) easier by partnering with us!
Bark offers a 7-day free trial, and if you decide to permanently use this program, you can USE THIS PROMO CODE for 20% off your total price. (Win!)
Do you use the Bark app? Or do you have any questions about this parenting program? Leave a comment and let me know!
As always, I’d love to hear what articles have resonated most with you! Feel free to reach out at [email protected], or message me on Instagram! You can also follow the Home Faith Family board on Pinterest for other inspiring ideas.