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  1. #1
    Melaine is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Default First phones, what are your rules and restrictions?

    I guess this is happening.

    First phones have been ordered for my twins, age 14. I was planning to wait until they turn 15 in October, but they are some of the last hold-outs in their friend group and they are missing out on a lot without texting capabilities (particularly with COVID). We're doing iphone SE's for them (by the way, Straight Talk has an amazing price!). Ordered adorable custom cases from casetify.

    They will honestly be mostly texting and using a few school related apps (Spanish/math). I am fine with Pinterest app, which they both love already for art and fashion. We'll definitely allow some photo editing apps since I know they will enjoy that. Amazon music app, spotify. Kindle app and Hoopla for library checkouts. I'll probably get them Stylebook since I love tracking my closet and they probably will also. A game or two is fine. They are aware that they won't be getting Facebook, Insta, or TikTok for now. (They said they aren't really interested in those right now. Facebook and insta are passe it seems)

    What are your rules and restrictions in regard to phone use and social media? They are extremely disciplined in general and have always been trustworthy but I still want some parameters. For example, I think we will have them charge the phones in the kitchen at night.

  2. #2
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    My DD is younger (12) and I also hadn’t planned to get her a phone. Hers is really more for emergencies, if she needs to call from school, etc. I locked it down pretty tight. She cannot receive phone calls or texts from numbers not on her contact list. She also can’t text/call except this list. I erased most of the apps and she needs to have me add anything she needs. The phone doesn’t do many things after her bedtime as I have it set as downtime. I got her a kids Apple ID which gives me a lot of power over the device. I can’t remember all the details but I know I googled around a bit on how to set up an iPhone for a kid and I believe common sense media had the best advice on setting things up. If many of her friends who she communicates with have phones I’m not aware of it as she hasn’t asked me to add them. She mainly uses apps or video calling on her chromebook to communicate with other kids at this point.
    momma to DD 12/08 & DS 3/13

  3. #3
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    No real rules. They have to give me passwords (well, ds1 hasn’t had to since mid high school). I can check devices whenever (I never do). And I’ll confiscate them for a bit if they are being overused (I might have done that once). Mine don’t need rules to start but know we will adapt if a problem comes up.
    eta- social media was of no interest to ds1 until high school (Snapchat and Insta). Ds2 has no interest.

    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Last edited by SnuggleBuggles; 04-11-2021 at 10:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    I've always known passwords for phones, but siblings do not. It became an issue where 13 YO DS was being a pain using 16 YO DS phone.

    My older two received and my youngest (just turned 11) will receive a phone at the end of 5th grade. So in the beginning no social media.

    By high school age, I was OK with social media. DS1 installed Instagram/Twitter/FB by the end of freshman year. Now as a junior his friends are primarily on Instagram. A few of his clubs at school were communicating some vital information using Insta and Twitter and I was tired of taking screen shots and forwarding them to him during his freshman year, so I almost pushed for those. FB is because all the parents on there and they post fun pictures he wants to see (mostly band and robotics).

    All devices for the entire family are charged in a communal spot right off the kitchen. No devices overnight in any bedrooms.

    For Christmas DS1 received a smartwatch and I think it has helped him not be on his phone as much. He can see the message and it is much easier to look at wrist and know he doesn't need to respond right away. With a phone notification he'd look at phone and always find something else to look at while it was open.

  5. #5
    PZMommy is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow mom View Post
    My DD is younger (12) and I also hadn’t planned to get her a phone. Hers is really more for emergencies, if she needs to call from school, etc. I locked it down pretty tight. She cannot receive phone calls or texts from numbers not on her contact list. She also can’t text/call except this list. I erased most of the apps and she needs to have me add anything she needs. The phone doesn’t do many things after her bedtime as I have it set as downtime. I got her a kids Apple ID which gives me a lot of power over the device. I can’t remember all the details but I know I googled around a bit on how to set up an iPhone for a kid and I believe common sense media had the best advice on setting things up. If many of her friends who she communicates with have phones I’m not aware of it as she hasn’t asked me to add them. She mainly uses apps or video calling on her chromebook to communicate with other kids at this point.
    How do you do a kid’s Apple ID? I need to get my 6th grader a phone because he will be home by himself for a few hours a day and I want to make sure he can call in an emergency.

  6. #6
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Phones outside door at bedtime then I collect and put on chargers downstairs. They get phone overnight on weekends but weekdays they do not even over summer. If they get caught with phone out at school then they can no longer take to school. I have passwords and check occasionally. All apps are approved by me. They can not make account changes and I have content restrictions set up as well though sometimes it blocks sites it shouldnít. We started with no social media but I lost that battle during Covid. I do check it and we have lots of discussions about it. Good social media behavior is also drilled into them constantly at school.

    Also- we do not allow phones to leave the house when they are with DH or I. So if we go out for dinner they can not bring their phones. We feel the purpose of taking them out is to be able to get in touch with us when they are not with us... not to scroll on their phones when they should be social instead. They are often the only kids in a group setting without phones but usually when other parents notice they do not have them they will tell their kids to put theirs away and theyíll actually all talk or go be active instead.
    Last edited by mmsmom; 04-11-2021 at 09:53 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PZMommy View Post
    How do you do a kid’s Apple ID? I need to get my 6th grader a phone because he will be home by himself for a few hours a day and I want to make sure he can call in an emergency.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201084
    momma to DD 12/08 & DS 3/13

  8. #8
    ang79 is online now Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Default First phones, what are your rules and restrictions?

    DD1 got a hand-me down iphone in 5th grade because she was putting herself on the bus some mornings after I left for work. Then we gave DD2 a hand-me down iphone last spring so that she could Facetime with friends when school shut down. They mostly Facetime and text friends and DD1 listens to Spotify (which is actually my account that I don't use, so I can check up on it if I want to). No social media yet, they are currently 6th and 8th. My 6th grader asked me just last week if she could get Instagram to follow a friend, I said not at this point, she can text and call. They must charge the phones in the kitchen at night, not in their bedrooms. And no calls/Facetime to friends after 9pm. Their plans currently only have text/calls, no data, but they are usually somewhere they have access to wi-if.

    Which photo editing apps are you looking at? They would like that. Most of their current pictures are off our pets, lol. Their phones are set up on our Apple Family Account, so if they want an app the phone asks my permission first and then I have to put in a passcode from my phone to allow then to get the app. So far they only have a few games, Remind for school, tuning app for their instruments. I think I may have to enter the world of social media with DD1 when she starts high school, not ready for that, as I don't use it myself!
    Last edited by ang79; 04-11-2021 at 10:50 PM.

  9. #9
    mom2binsd is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    No real rules. They have to give me passwords (well, ds1 hasnít had to since mid high school). I can check devices whenever (I never do). And Iíll confiscate them for a bit if they are being overused (I might have done that once). Mine donít need rules to start but know we will adapt if a problem comes up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Same here, they keep them in their rooms. No reason at our house to charge elsewhere. I have complete access and occasionally check but we haven't had issues. My kids are newly 15 and almost 18. They also have social media which is how they make plans with friends, have sports team groups etc. Both get very good grades and play multiple sports, help around the house. They know the phone will be removed if rules are not followed.

    I think I parent differently than most on this board/allow access to social media etc, and although my kids feel I'm more strict than most of their friends parents. I do what works for our family and so far my kids have handled the responsibility of phones and the internet.

    OP your girls sound very smart and respectful, I am sure they will enjoy their phones, it does provide for socializing, it's just how they communicate now. Around here I don't know any kid who past 6th grade who doesn't have a phone. Even some coworkers who I know have limited incomes have phones for their kids.

    Highly recommended putting the 360 app on, the free version is perfect and great for seeing where they are, especially soon when your girls might be away from home more.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    PZMommy is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow mom View Post
    Thank you!

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