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5 Reasons to Get the Bark Phone for Your Child – A Mom’s Review

Parenting in a tech world is HARD, and deciding what kid’s phone is best suitable for your child can feel overwhelming. Like most things today, knowing who to trust regarding reliable products is sometimes a gamble. There are so many varying opinions, and once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole and done your research, you might come out more confused than before. But thankfully, choosing the Bark Phone for kids is an easy decision for most parents, myself included. 

The Bark Phone is, hands down, the best child’s phone that my 12-year-old son and I have tested thus far. Not only does it check all the boxes of what parents are looking for to keep their kids safer — web filtering, social media monitoring, sensitivity settings, and time limits — but it also looks just like a regular Android phone, eliminating your child from feeling singled out for having a “kiddy” phone. 

*Please note I only review and recommend products I’ve tested and tried myself. This is a paid partnership, but I would never recommend anything I do not stand behind 100%. I may make a commission when you purchase a Bark Phone through these links so I can keep doing what I love — helping parents nurture a peaceful home environment. Thanks in advance for supporting the cause!

Teen boy on phone

It’s easy to set up, affordable, and has more capabilities than other kids’ phones. Not only that, it’s made by a company that genuinely cares about your child’s safety.

I have been partnering with Bark, a parental control company, for a long time in the mission of digital wellness and protecting kids online. I can testify to the fact that they work hard to keep your kids safe from online dangers lurking around every corner. They are simply the best in their field.

Check out my Bark App review here if you’re also considering monitoring all the devices in your home. I cover the Bark App — Bark Premium or Bark Jr — and Bark Home, which is great for smart TVs and online gaming.

I couldn’t have been more excited when I got the notification that they were coming out with a kid’s phone. After trying it for myself, I’m even more excited that there’s finally a phone out there I can trust to keep my child safe online. 

kids looking at phones

Is the Bark Phone worth it?

A big question that might arise for parents is, “Why not just let my child use an old iPhone and put the Bark Parent Control on it? Is the Bark Phone worth it?” While the Bark app is an incredible option for keeping your child safe online, especially if you have tablets or iPads, it has limitations, especially on iOS Apple devices. 

The most outstanding digital dangers for children are cyberbullying, online predators, and exposure to age-inappropriate content on platforms like Tiktok, Instagram, and Snapchat. So when using a parental control app on your child’s device, whatever company you choose to go with, they will all perform better on an Android device because they don’t have any third-party restrictions to deal with.

Check out more on that here

But why not just ensure your child is protected from all angles and get a phone built to protect them so you don’t have to worry about a thing? 

I highly recommend this phone for many reasons, but let’s talk about WHY your children might need the Bark Phone and what it protects them from. 

sad girl

Parenting in a tech world – the problem at hand

With what we now know about mental health problems in children associated with social media and online usage, parents no longer have an excuse for allowing their kids unmonitored or unlimited access to their digital devices. 

Having a 12-year-old, I understand the burden of raising kids in a digital world, always asking myself, “What is my kid looking at online?” It’s overwhelming, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy. When your 8-year-old starts teaching YOU how to operate the settings in your phone, it’s easy to feel inadequate in your tech skills. But don’t let that hinder you from protecting your children online and educating yourself about what they are up against. 

There are great companies and influencers whose sole mission is to partner with parents to keep their kids safe online. Protect young eyes, Thorne, Bark, Common Sense Media, Parents Who Fight, and many more. 

If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to watch the documentary Social Media Dangers – Childhood 2.0. You will learn WHY it’s crucial to install parental control apps like Bark on your child’s device or get them the Bark Kid’s Phone. 

kids on their phones

As a society, we need to do better for our kids

Parents can’t expect their children to know what to do with this online world, and I don’t only mean the obvious digital dangers like sexual predators or suicidal ideation.

You also have to consider the role social media plays in how your kids view themselves and others: They might believe they are worthless because they didn’t get many likes on their post; they might believe lies about themselves and become depressed because of something someone said about their appearance; they can be influenced and brainwashed by dangerous influencers who are not mentally stable; they can accumulate toxic online friendships where there is no accountability; it can affect their brain development; they might compare themselves to others.

Every day, a child whose phone is not being monitored is being chipped away at, reminded of how inadequate they are, that they should look different, be someone they’re not, find their worth and identity in the next trend, do this, eat that, and end up confused and alone.

Then, the child, who is now vulnerable, insecure, and willing to do whatever it takes to fit in, lays victim to predators. Whether it’s sex, alcohol, trafficking, suicide, marketing, or drugs, don’t assume your child will not be targeted. Because if your child is online or on social media, they are a target. 

I know you don’t want this for your child. 

But this implies you, the parent, need to take action to protect their devices and be intentional about your relationship with them. It means that your family, as a whole, needs to practice digital wellness. 

Check out the stats from Bark’s annual report; these are just MONITORED phones’ stats. 

“35.7% of tweens and 64.3% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation.

62.4% of tweens and 82.2% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature.

9.4% of tweens and 14.2% of teens encountered predatory behaviors from someone online.

4.4% of tweens and 15.1% of teens engaged with or encountered content about disordered eating.

19.3% of tweens and 41.2% of teens used language or were exposed to language about anxiety.

71.2% of tweens and 83.3% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness.” 

Check out the rest of Bark’s annual report here

A Simple Solution – The Bark Phone for Kids

Now, when I say solution, I don’t mean that once your child gets a Bark Phone, they are free from online dangers. No doubt your child can look at their peer’s phone without parental controls at school and experience something damaging. 

And that’s where the open and honest relationship comes in that you’ve built with your child — they know they can share their heart and experiences with you — the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Ultimately, working to strengthen your relationship will help your family navigate the negative impacts of digital dangers. Because when your child experiences something damaging online, which they will at some point or another, they will have you to help them through it.

But if you want to lessen those harmful online experiences, and know when they happen, getting the Bark Phone is a great solution that will heavily limit their access to various digital dangers and alert you of anything they’ve encountered that is harmful to their mental or physical health. 

5 Reasons to Get Your Child a Bark Phone – Review From a Mom and Parenting Educator

I’ve represented and promoted the Bark App to parents everywhere for years. 

Since then, I’ve been exploring and reviewing kids’ phones, all tested by me and my tweenage son, who definitely hasn’t complained along the journey. What kid DOESN’T want the job of testing out phones?

So far, all the tested phones have not lived up to the Bark Phone. 

1. The Bark Phone knocks the other kid’s smartphones out of the water

Pinwheel used to be our phone of choice, but it lacked some features and protective measures — it just doesn’t stand up to the Bark phone in terms of quality, features, and loopholes.

Pinwheel Phone has limited apps and no web browser

As my son got older, the limitations of certain apps on his Pinwheel phone became a problem. Even though you can download apps, they are limited to what they’ve pre-approved.

As a homeschool mom, I want my son to be able to download the apps that work for learning and exploring. And as he matures, I want to be able to add more apps that are beneficial for him so that I, as the parent, can decide on what those apps would be. 

For example, part of his schooling was going out in our Florida garden, identifying certain plants, and writing a report on them. An app called “Picture This” identifies plants by taking a picture and gives you the details of that plant. Pinwheel does not allow this app.

It was moments like this I was frustrated by the limitations of Pinwheel. I also love that when he gets older, we will have the option to add in a web browser, knowing it’s backed by powerful web filtering.

Before choosing which phone is best for your child, here’s a comparison model.

the bark phone vs competitors

2. The Bark Phone looks just like a regular Android phone

Parenting in this digital age, we must teach our children what to do with technology instead of banning it altogether. The Bark Phone is an incredible way to do that. Your child won’t feel excluded at school, AND you can protect them simultaneously with full access to what your kids are experiencing through your parent dashboard.

3. The Bark Phone protects your children from online dangers

Get alerted every time your child has an interaction with sexual predators, cyberbullying, threats of violence, profanity, adult content, or anything that is potentially harmful. With powerful web filtering and monitoring across apps, you can rest assured that your child is safer online. Whether it’s YouTube, WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Instagram, or various social media platforms, the Bark Phone will do the heavy lifting for you.

4. Includes exclusive Bark Phone features 

  • Comes with a Bark Premium subscription for the whole family
  • Text message monitoring that parents can choose to allow them to be deleted or not
  • Location tracking
  • Remote phone lock
  • Unlimited talk and text 
  • Blocks websites and apps
  • Set time limits
  • Receive alerts for dangers
  • Kids can’t delete text without permission
  • Powerful internet filtering
  • Remote alarms
  • Designate emergency contacts 

5. Grows with your child and gives parents peace of mind

I’ve chatted with a few friends whose parental control strategy looks like asking for their child’s phone every few days, going through all their texts and emails, and checking their web history.

While this is definitely one way to do things, it’s not sustainable, your child can find loopholes, and it’s exhausting. That’s why the Bark app and the Bark kid’s phone are incredible ways to give you peace of mind and doesn’t strain your relationship with your child.

Bark creates an environment of accountability in the home — something I believe we ALL need. In our home, we all stay accountable to one another and don’t single out our kids as the only ones who need accountability. When we do this, we model for our kids that accountability in life is a good thing. It nurtures relationships, keeps us safe, and protects our minds. 

Grows with your child

As your kids mature, they may want to text with their friends just between them. The Bark phone allows this by only alerting you of anything that’s potentially harmful. I believe this is a better way of keeping your kids safe because it provides respect in privacy for older kids. 

The Bark Phone can be heavily monitored and filtered for young kids and then adjusted as need be for your older teen, making it the best for growing with your child.

Why we use the Bark Phone

We use the Bark Phone for our 12-year-old to teach him that accountability in life is a good thing. We also want to show him that technology is beneficial when used in moderation and responsibly. 

The Bark Phone supports our vision of raising our kids to live their life outside of the digital world and not be consumed by their phones. We feel like Bark partners with parents to raise a generation that isn’t lost to technology but uses it for good. 

I am so excited to be a part of the mission to protect children online, which can have the most devastating impact on the minds of young people. 

When you purchase a Bark Phone, know that you’re making a positive step in your child’s well-being — mentally, emotionally, and physically.