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  1. #11
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Default First phones, what are your rules and restrictions?

    He knew it was our phone and we would take it away/lock it down. We had rules and supervised at first to see how he would handle it. When he broke our rules, he got a consequence, 2nd time we installed app where we could control apps/turn on/off phone. It was a monthly subscription to the app. We had the app maybe for 6-9 months. Then turned it off (he didnít know) as he had matured and shown he would follow rules. He knew we would put it back on again.

    Anytime we give more freedoms we come up with our rules and tell him. We watch and see if we need to increase rules or restrict the freedom. Doing same thing now with driving. Itís all monitored, limits on what he can do and weíre trusting heís following them. Weíll see if he shows heís responsible before decrease the rules. So far, heís fine and following them

    edit to add: we have the life 360 app, great now that heís driving

    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Last edited by niccig; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:16 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by belovedgandp View Post

    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.
    I got a smartwatch for Christmas for this exact reason, and it has really worked for me!

    In answer to your question OP, we are pretty strict. All devices are charged in the kitchen every night and I have all passwords. We set up Family Sharing and created the kids Apple IDs through that. We use Screen Time (in Settings) to set time limits on different app categories. DD1 doesn't have any time limits for apps but we do set up Downtime to help her be less distracted during school, and after a certain time at night. DS has a much harder time with self regulating his app time so he has more limits set up, and DD2 has very few apps on her itouch and does have time limits. Screen Time has a lot of great features if you want to monitor how much time they are spending on their phones. We also removed the web browsers from all of their phones (they use a computer when they need a web browser - DD1 has her own laptop so it hasn't been an issue). We don't do social media for them (none of them are interested anyway) and for now DD2 has the camera disabled on her itouch (she's still at the age of very little filter - she has a separate digital camera but we weren't ready for her to take and send selfies quite yet). DH and I saw Collin Kartchner speak in person a couple years ago, and it really clarified for us what limits we wanted to set. We want our kids to learn to use phones responsibly while they are still young enough to care what we think and come to us when they see something that alarms/confuses them - but we weren't ready to turn them loose. As they get older and show they can handle it, they get more freedom.

    DD1 11/05
    DS 04/08
    DD2 11/11

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    The Land of the Tar Heels


    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    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
    DS is almost 11.5 and got his iPhone shortly after he turned 10. This is pretty much where I am.

    I did set it up so that I have to approve any apps that he wants to download. Other than that, I really haven't done a lot. He mainly watches YouTube videos -- people playing Fortnite, music videos, games, the weather. He hears some language that he probably shouldn't, but that's not a hill that I'm going to die on.

    I downloaded TikTok for him a few weeks ago. I put in his actual age or either made him 13 -- I can't remember -- and I got a popup saying that videos would be limited. But he just wanted it to see his friend's TikToks. I don't think he's been back on since. I also *might* download Instagram because he plays AAU basketball, and lots of kids his age have pages with photos and videos of their game highlights. He's made some friends playing Fortnite, so he'll Facetime and text with them. One kid was sending really inappropriate stuff, so we told him to tell his friend to stop or we would block his number and that seemed to take care of it.

    We don't have hard and fast screen time limits, so when we ask him to turn his phone off, he does so without complaint. It charges overnight in his room and I can tell he doesn't touch it. But, he's also on the younger side. We will probably have to put stricter rules in place as he gets older and become more savvy.
    Last edited by carolinacool; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:31 PM.
    DS: Raising heck since 12/09

  4. #14
    AnnieW625's Avatar
    AnnieW625 is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default First phones, what are your rules and restrictions?

    My Dd1 got her phone at 12 and just before 7th grade because she was going to be taking the city bus home. I kept her under my iCloud account until she started high school (and it was easier for her to have her own account to link to her school issued iPad) and it was nice because I required that she keep location services on so I could use find my phone occasionally to check up on her while she was on the bus.

    My phone rules are in line with SnuggleBuggles and Mom2BeinSD. I think having a cell phone is a trust issue and if you have trust issues then a cell phone should not be an option. We have been lucky with Dd1 and I honestly canít remember her password, but I do believe that I still have to approve app. purchase for her and my credit card is linked to her account. She always asks and I honestly canít remember the last time I got a notification that she wanted or needed something.

    App wise she has Instagram, and Pinterest. Dh said no to Tiktok and Snapchat pre covid and she said she is fine seeing Tiktok through instagram, and COVID has killed Snapchat. We might revisit Snapchat now that she is 15 and if it becomes popular if things open back up again.

    Now as far as Dd2 goes I would like to delay her phone as long as possible, but Dd1 got hers at 12 and DD2 will be 13 when she starts 7th grade. In an ideal world if we can wait until she is 14 and starting 8th grade I would be okay with that as Dd1 will be away at college and I am sure I may be back in my office more than once a week by then and we will need to get ahold of her by then. Her Adhd issues cause her to focus on the iPad too much and a phone would be the same. We would have to keep it under lock and key.

    We have also always said that good grades (As, and Bs) are required to have a phone.

    Once DD1 gets a job I would like her to pay for a portion of her monthly cell phone bill and phone upgrades if she wants one.

    Eta: definitely like the no pictures of body parts rule. That hasnít been an issue so far but as Dds get older it is important especially because in California there are strict transmission rules about that stuff for minors.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by AnnieW625; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:08 PM.
    WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
    DD E, 15
    DD L, 11
    baby 2, 4-2009 (our Tri-18 baby)

  5. #15
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003


    Electronics have been an indispensible way for all my kids to stay in contact with their friends during the chaos that COVID has caused. Ideally I didn't want them all to have phones until they learned to drive but plans changed. The only holdout now is my 13yo son who doesn't have a phone but does have an apple watch for texting his friends and me. Otherwise he communicates with friends through video games.

    All electronics in our house are required to be used in public areas. No cell phones, laptops or nintendos in bedrooms or bathrooms. During the day sometimes they'll have their phones plugged into outlets in the hallway outside their bedrooms while they are doing homework. We used to charge ours on a multi-gang charger in the kitchen but the kids were getting up in the middle of the night to check their phones so I changed that about 6 months ago to a small table in my bedroom. They have to drop off their electronics to charge in my room at night and can pick it up first thing in the morning. They also have to be ok with my checking their text messages occasionally (sometimes I do this when they are there just to ask questions about what they are their friends are up to. They are pretty open with me so it's not a big deal). We have explained that the phones belong to DH and I and we can take them away when we think it's necessary (i have done this once for DS1 and DD). Also, all phone privileges end the first time I see any photos of body parts between the shoulders and knee caps posted. I've explained how that lunacy will leave a trail on the internet that will follow them for life. Also, they need to ask us before subscribing to any new platform like snapchat, Instagram, whatever. If they have a well-reasoned explanation why they want to join, I let them do it and then just ask for updates now and then. So far, so good.
    Last edited by gatorsmom; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:06 PM.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

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