My Kid Wants Email

Have your kids been bugging you for their own email account? Are “all the other kids” getting one and leaving your child in the dust? What are you waiting for?

My kids have had their “own” email account since the 3rd grade. You’re probably thinking, “Wow! You are braver than I am!”

Notice how I put parentheses around the word “own”? That’s because, while my kids are able to send and receive all the email they want, they are technically using a Gmail account I own. This is a second Gmail account, separate from my primary account. One that I manage and monitor using a few easy-to-access Gmail tools and settings. If you’re worried about child predators (and rightly so), this email method lets you keep a close eye on everything your child sends and receives, right in your own inbox.

The following video shows you the specific steps you can take to set up two Gmail accounts, one as your primary email and another that sends copies of everything sent and received to the first. Using this method you can set-up any iPod, iPad, Kindle, computer, etc to send/receive email using this second account, giving your kids safe, reliable, monitored email access.

The video details a number of very specific steps. I recommend opening it in a 2nd window so you can pause it and follow along. Once you’ve completed the steps described in this 10 minute video, you can return to this blog post to read instructions on setting up your respective devices as listed below.

Links to instructions for setting up Gmail accounts on different devices and email clients:

Mail Clients

Wireless Devices

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23 thoughts on “My Kid Wants Email

  1. […] Within minutes of my daughter reading this, my wife had also read it and was reaching out to the girls’ parents. Our kids’ email is set up to send copies of everything they send and receive to Mom. […]

  2. Bill says:

    The forwarding tip to copy every email from the child to you only works when the child writes a *new* email. It doesn’t appear to work when the child replies to an incoming message. Is there a way to copy reply emails to you?

  3. Didn’t you have to lie about your kids age? Mine is 11 and won’t let me create the account.

    • ageekydaad says:

      Technically, it’s YOUR account. You’re just letting your child use it. YOU own it and manage it. If your child is accessing it via their phone, or an iPod, they don’t even need the password after you’ve entered it. At least that’s my non-legally binding take on it. 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    This was great! The only problem is that the filter to forward the email they compose to my account wouldn’t work. It tells me that my email address is invalid because all incoming email is going to that address. Any advice would be appreciated.

  5. Jill says:

    I too am having trouble forwarding emails my child composes, both “new emails” and responses. I am receiving the incoming emails just fine. Thank you so much for putting this out there and helping other parents! Your efforts are most appreciated!!!

  6. Brenda says:

    Thank you – this video was great and I appreciate the help!

  7. says:

    great demo of setting up gmail account for children and monitor those accounts as parents. thanks

  8. Cheri says:

    When I try to create the filter so that all of the emails my child sends is forwarded to me I get the following error message “Invalid forwarding address. You already have all incoming mail forwarding to this address.” I am putting my child’s email address in the “From” field so I don’t know why it is giving me this message. Any ideas where I went wrong?

  9. Louis Guy Jr says:

    Can I open a email account for my 8 year old grand child

  10. Susan says:

    HI Geeky Dad, Thank you for your helpful message. I did it and it’s working great…but I need your help. One of my kid’s friends emails her like 25 x a day plus. and the email goes to the subfolder label I setup, but it’s also going to my “primary” email tab, and I cannot even find my emails now. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  11. Susan says:

    My daughter and her friends send 10s of emails a day sometimes and it is FLOODING my primary tab. A copy is going into the labeled folder also, which is fine, since I can have access when necessary. Please help !

  12. […] Instead of replicating I think he needs credit for what getting there first so he’s a link to his post and his vid is […]

  13. Christy Smith says:

    I never would have figured this out on my own– thanks!

  14. Parul says:

    Very helpful video. Thanks for sharing the knowledge…

  15. Sue Skinner says:

    Thank you so much for the really useful video. Much appreciated.

  16. Dana Harris says:

    Thank you so much! I have been struggling for weeks on how to get my 10 year old a gmail account! This was very helpful and I was able to do what I needed. There were a few areas that I couldn’t find in her settings, as your gmail screen was a bit different than mine! However I was able to get it set up!

  17. bttab says:

    I think it’s much easier to just turn on IMAP and then add your child’s account to your own Mail app. That way, all their stuff is separate from your own. And there’s no need for most of this complexity.

    For control, it’s also good to set up a filter that deletes anything that does not have one of a given list of allowed email addresses. That means that they can only receive messages from people that you approve (that is, that you add to the filter).

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