Google Family Link and How to reactivate your child’s Gmail Account

There was a time when the wedding date used to be fixed based on the date dictated by an almanac, when the stars of the bride and the groom were aligned well. Then a few decades earlier, the trend changed. One had two or three different options for the wedding date. The final deciding factor was not the alignment of stars alone. The deciding factor was the availability of the wedding hall. Out of the three options, the date when the wedding hall was free became your wedding day.

I used to think nothing can beat the demand of the wedding hall. Not even oil. But I couldn’t be more wrong. The award was snatched by email. You read it right, email! Those who jumped on the email bandwagon in the early years should be thankful. It is excruciatingly difficult to get email id of your choice right now. None of the combinations of your first name and last name that are meaningful are available. All are taken. You end up having to choose the accounts like mail2xxx, talk2xxx, xxx10000bc etc which are cringe-worthy and unprofessional. I had to take an id which my spelling changed.

Create your Google Account
The Dreaded Message

So when my daughter was born in 2009, I immediately registered her email id by providing an incorrect year of birth. You have to be 13 to register an email. She got a decent id with her name as her name is not very common. By this time, Google had not launched Family Link.

Family Link, launched in Sep 2017, is an application that lets the parents create Gmail accounts for their children who are under 13 and monitor the usage. This was mainly to keep control of their android phones. (It is a different story that most of the kids here do not get their own phone till they reach college). Click here to learn more about Google Family Links.

My son was born last year (the reason why I went awol from the blogosphere), and I registered his Gmail id using Family Link. My son’s account was linked to my account. I thought, let me link my daughter’s account as well. I could have just added her id under the family link, logged on to her account and given the approval. To do that, my daughter was supposed to have an android phone. (At this point, it didn’t strike me that I can add her account in my android and happily configure). Instead, I thought this was not working as she is registered as over 13 years and that fixing her date of birth would help. And I updated the year of birth to the correct one and I was almost done. At least, that’s what I thought.

Google threw a message asking for a confirmation of the age. I clicked yes, this is absolutely the correct age. Google spat out another window – “Your account is disabled as you are not old enough to have an email id”. There were only two options – (1) To update the birth date but provide credit card details or a government id as a proof (2) Wait for 30 days and the account will be deleted. This was insane. The fruit of my labour 10 years ago was going to go in vain. If I go with option 1, the names may not match and the proof will not work. I did not want to give up on the email id yet.

I struggled to reach out to the support team. It was not very intuitive, at least for me. Finally, I found a solution in one of the forums. It was nothing but option (1) above. If you patiently read this post so far and reached this point, thank you. Here are the quick steps that will unlock the world’s secret.

How to reactivate your child’s Gmail id after deactivating by updating the correct date of birth?

  1. Logon to your child’s Gmail account
  2. You will see two options to download the data and to update the account with the correct date of birth. Choose Update
  3. Entire the desired date of birth. Not the correct one.
  4. Choose how you want to submit the proof – by uploading a photo id or by providing credit card details. I chose credit card as it was the fastest option of the two
  5. Provide your credit card details or upload the jpg of the id and continue
  6. Try logging into your child’s account after some time.

And that’s it. The account is reactivated. This does not add the account under parental control in the family link unless your child has an android. But the account is recovered and you don’t have to choose another pingmexxxx type account.

6 thoughts on “Google Family Link and How to reactivate your child’s Gmail Account

  1. This is very interesting as I too snapped up some names for my kids when they were younger. I have thought of using the Google Family Link but have not gone that route yet as G-Suite users can not use it (another long story as I have one of the legacy ones). Thanks you your unfortunate trials I know if I want to use Family Link I need to just create some new accounts for the time being.

    Glad you got the account unlocked and for sharing.

  2. I did not know about this.. thanks for letting us know about this feature . Happy new year to you and your family!!  Hope you are doing well!! 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  3. Good God! I’m old enough to be horrified that prospective parents are applying for school admissions before the kids are born. But this takes the biscuit! I’m quite grateful to be a dinosaur in this age.

  4. Thanks. May be it’s a blessing in disguise that you are not on family link yet. Google has a notorious reputation of killing their own products quickly if they don’t see roi. Let us see how long it survives.

  5. It’s the rush to give everything best for the kid. Institutions capitalise on these emotions of parents. Everything is a business now. No service.

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