Kickin’ it old school.
In a few weeks I’ll be ready to trade in my old phone for an iPhone 5. When I do, my kids will get possession of my old 4s.
And by “my kids,” I mostly mean my 9-year-old daughter. Out of all my kids, she’s the one who already uses my iPhone the most. She loves to take pictures, make videos, and text her grandma. She looks up recipes, gardening tips, and random science factoids. (With lots of supervision, because that last part—the part about googling stuff on the internet—makes me nervous.)
My 11-year-old son uses my iPhone too, but only occasionally, mostly to check baseball scores, the weather, and playing word games.
I know lots of kids have their own iPhones these days, but I’m still getting used to it—and am still surprised at how many of our personal friends have given them to their 9- and 10-year-old kids for birthdays or Christmas.
My kids won’t get “ownership” of my old phone, exactly, but starting in a few weeks, it will be available to them more often than it is now. (With WiFi only—no data plan.)
Knowing this transition is coming, I’m trying to think a few steps ahead. I can already foresee two huge issues: adult content (I hate that phrase, but you know what I mean, right?) and total screen time.
I’m planning on following Kristen’s instructions to kid-proof the phone, ensuring they won’t be able to accidentally access adult content on it.
And I suspect we’re about to outgrow our screen time “system.” Right now it’s is dead simple: during daily rest time, they can watch a show or movie (usually 25-45 minutes in length) if they choose. If they want to use my iPhone for two minutes to take a picture, check baseball scores, or ask Siri a question, I usually say “yes” and hand it over.
So we need to kid-proof the phone and upgrade our screen time system, but I suspect that’s not all there is to it.
What’s your experience with kids and digital devices? I’d love to hear your tips, tricks, rules, precautions, and all the other things I don’t even know I don’t know.