Monitoring Your Child’s Text Messages on iPhone: A Parent’s Guide


Ted Stinson

Monitoring your child’s text messages on their iPhone is a task that many parents feel is necessary in today’s digital age. With the rise of cyberbullying, sexting, and online predators, keeping an eye on your child’s communication can help you intervene if necessary. In just a few steps, you can set up the necessary features on your iPhone to monitor your child’s text messages.

Step by Step Tutorial: Monitoring Your Child’s Text Messages on iPhone

Before we dive into the steps, let’s quickly talk about what we’re aiming to achieve. We want to set up your iPhone so you can see your child’s text messages without them knowing. This can give you peace of mind while respecting your child’s privacy.

Step 1: Set up Family Sharing

To monitor your child’s text messages, you first need to set up Family Sharing on your iPhone.

Family Sharing allows you to share purchases, location, and even screen time with your family members. It’s the foundation for monitoring your child’s text messages because it links your devices together.

Step 2: Add your child’s iPhone to your Family Sharing group

Once Family Sharing is set up, add your child’s iPhone to the group.

Inviting your child to the Family Sharing group is a straightforward process. Just follow the on-screen instructions, and their device will be connected to yours.

Step 3: Enable ‘Share My Location’ on your child’s iPhone

Turn on the ‘Share My Location’ feature on your child’s iPhone.

Sharing your child’s location is a separate step that gives you access to their whereabouts, which can be crucial in case of emergencies.

Step 4: Set up iMessage on your device using your child’s Apple ID

Configure iMessage on your device using your child’s Apple ID.

By setting up iMessage with your child’s Apple ID, you’ll be able to receive and view their text messages on your device.

Step 5: Monitor text messages through iMessage

Now, you can start monitoring your child’s text messages through iMessage on your iPhone.

You’ll receive the same messages your child does, and you can keep an eye on what’s being said. Remember, it’s about keeping them safe, not invading their privacy.

After completing these steps, you’ll have access to your child’s text messages. You can periodically check the messages to ensure everything is appropriate and safe. If you notice anything concerning, you can address it with your child.

Tips: Monitoring Your Child’s Text Messages on iPhone

  • Always talk to your child about why you’re monitoring their messages. Transparency is key.
  • Set clear boundaries and rules about text messaging and online communication.
  • Regularly review the process and adjust as necessary based on your child’s age and maturity level.
  • Use monitoring as a way to educate your child about online safety, rather than for punishment.
  • Respect your child’s privacy and only intervene when absolutely necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to monitor my child’s text messages?

Yes, as long as you are the legal guardian and your child is under the age of 18, it is legal to monitor their text messages for safety reasons.

Will my child know that I’m monitoring their text messages?

If you follow these steps correctly, your child shouldn’t be aware that you’re monitoring their messages. However, it’s often best to have an open conversation about why you’re doing it.

Can I monitor text messages from third-party apps like WhatsApp or Snapchat?

No, these steps only apply to iMessage. Third-party apps have their own privacy settings and typically cannot be monitored in this way.

What should I do if I find concerning messages?

Talk to your child about the messages in a calm and understanding manner. It’s important to address the situation rather than ignore it.

Can my child turn off the ‘Share My Location’ feature?

Yes, your child can turn this feature off, but as part of the Family Sharing group, you’ll receive a notification if they do.


  1. Set up Family Sharing.
  2. Add your child’s iPhone to your Family Sharing group.
  3. Enable ‘Share My Location’ on your child’s iPhone.
  4. Set up iMessage using your child’s Apple ID.
  5. Monitor text messages through iMessage.


Monitoring your child’s text messages on their iPhone isn’t about spying; it’s about ensuring their safety in an increasingly digital world. By following the steps outlined above, you can have a better understanding of your child’s interactions and intervene if necessary. Remember, communication with your child is key. Discuss your reasons for monitoring their messages and involve them in setting boundaries and rules. Education on online safety is essential, and through monitoring, you can provide guidance and support. And always, always respect their privacy. After all, trust is a two-way street, and by showing your child that you trust them, they’re more likely to reciprocate that trust and come to you with any issues they may face.