Tips for yr 7 starters about phones, social media etc

(28 Posts)
areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Mon 20-Jun-16 09:41:02

DD is going into year 7 next term and I've decided it's time to lay down ground rules now about phone-use, social-media while she is still vaguely compliant.

She has an old phone of mine she uses for internet access, with Instagram (I know it's officially not until 13, I was conned into allowing her this, long story and now it's too late, my fault.) She doesn't yet have a Sim card, mainly because she cant' see the point of calling/texting anyone but I'll probably get her a payg SIM in the autumn, as she'll be going to school alone.

So wiser, more experience mnetters, what rules can I set in place now to stop her becoming a completely phone-obsessed zombie? I'm going to ban phones in bedrooms - amazed that already some of her friends are allowed this and are kept up all night by Instagram pinging - but more tips would be gratefully received. Thanks!

eyebrowse Mon 20-Jun-16 10:22:03

You might find that she knows a lot more about the issues than you do having done e-safety at school.

The main things are to treat people with respect and to think about whether what she says could be misinterpreted by other people. If she is talking late at night she and her friends are more likely to be tired and say things they might regret so its a good idea to switch it off over night.

On the other hand if she sees something she does not like to report it - schools know now about all the problems with social media so are likely to be receptive. Also to know that it is possible to switch it off and do something else if things get a bit heated.

The best idea is to get involved with activities so less idle time for phones. The most difficult thing we have found is homework time when they use them for the internet but end up being sucked into browing communicating instead of working

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Mon 20-Jun-16 15:45:54

Thank you, I'm not so concerned about safety but about the all-enveloping nature of social media. But I do remember spending hours on the phone to friends after school, so I guess this is the same thing - but people didn't ring our landline at 2am.

I am thinking about no phones in bedroom, no phones after 8.30pm, one phone-free day at weekends. No phones at table too (dh be warned).

Or is this an impossible dream?

apple1992 Sat 25-Jun-16 08:40:58

A good deal for no phones st night is to charge it downstairs at night, so she doesn't take it to bed.

And to be open, if she sees content that makes her feel uncomfortable or is inappropriate, report it (ie. Sexual or bullying)

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 25-Jun-16 09:03:01

We enforce charging of phones downstairs - no devices in bedrooms after bedtime. That applies to the adults in the house, too. So it's not us being unfair parents - it's for everyone's well-being.

I know the password for Dd's phone and tablet and she knows that I will have a look every so often. I know some people think that's prying but she's still a child and I can't help her learn how to handle herself online if I can't see what she's up to. In reality, so far it's all very mundane and uneventful and I rarely exercise my "right to spy" grin

Keep talking about e-safety wherever the opportunity arises. But be ready for the eye-rolling because they've heard it all ad nauseam at school. I have found that showing them news reports about kids that ran into real problems is a useful way of getting some genuine interest.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 25-Jun-16 13:56:25

Get the PAYG Sim before the summer so she can get used to sending and receiving texts and calls before then. It took my DD ( and her friends too) a while to realise they needed to answer/look at their phone.

bloodyteenagers Sat 25-Jun-16 14:07:42

I know you said your not concerned about safety, but you should be. CEOP and THinkuknow have data to say that unlike years ago where grooming took several months. It can take as little as 30 minutes. Do talk about e-safety, have a look on www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/ for helps and advice. Also, let her know about the site as there are things on there aimed at children.

But instil some ground rules. No phone in bedroom, although remember this is not fool proof as the screens obviously aren't as big as the laptop/pc on a desk. Passwords for everything to be given to you, however, not to snoop constantly and that is the hard bit, as you have to trust her and she has to know you trust her.
No devices at the table for everyone.
Homework first.

There will be protests. There will be but Lisa's mum doesn't do that.. Just say alone the lines of imagine a world where everyone was the same, would be boring.. Yes I understand that and there will be things you are allowed to do that Lisa isn't. Each household is different etc.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 28-Jul-16 12:53:29

Thanks everyone, I've been away and just seen your helpful replies.

I am, of course, concerned about e-safety and will lecture/keep an eye on her devices. Unfortunately, I have to have a phone in my bedroom for safety reasons, it's a tall old house, I'm right at the top with no landline or other way to call 999 if there's a fire/intruder but I've explained this and putting it on airplane mode from the time I go upstairs. I am bracing myself! grin

SuburbanRhonda Thu 28-Jul-16 13:00:43

I am, of course, concerned about e-safety and will lecture/keep an eye on her devices.

You don't need to "lecture" her. As a pp has said, the ThinkUKnow website is far and away the best resource for information about Internet safety. They are very likely to know far more than you do about e-safety and there are links for parents, children, schools, etc.

Out of interest, how does she access the Internet with no SIM card (and therefore no way to pay for data?). Or does she only use her phone at home?

KarmaNoMore Thu 28-Jul-16 13:23:53

I think every house has their own rules. All of DS's devices can only access internet via wifi. He is already a distracted soul, so he doesn't need further distraction when crossing busy roads and traveling on his own.

I have the rule that he shouldn't play in the xbox with anyone he doesn't know in real life, that also include friends of friends.

He has a phone but doesn't use it, as they are thankfully forbidden at school. I insist he has it in his bag (off) in case he needs to contact me.

He has Instagram but he is mostly using it to text his friends.

I have really insisted in no Facebook account, until he was able to deal effectively with bullying in real life. I think he is ready for it now, but he doesn't seem interested so I am leaving it at that.

Main problem has been setting times off line for revision and homework. I might end up sending him to homework club as it is a constant battle...

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 28-Jul-16 14:21:55

Thanks, again, i was using the word lecture lazily as in a hurry, I won't lecture her, it wouldn't work! But I will have discussions - am having them already and will point her in the direction of the website.
She only uses the phone at home for now and I intend not to allow 3G/4G like karmanomore until she is really showing she can use her phone responsibly.

LockedOutOfMN Thu 28-Jul-16 15:18:13

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret (Amazing username!) You sound like a really responsible parent. I'm a secondary teacher (and parent of younger kids) and think your rules sound very sensible, and reasonable. Just make sure you stick to them when your daughter wants to be like her friends whose parents are less responsible.

Also remember it's unlikely that phones will be "allowed" at school so she will need to keep it on silent or switched off inside her blazer pocket or other safe, out of sight place during the school day, or risk having it confiscated by a teacher.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 28-Jul-16 21:36:50

Why thank you LockedOutOfMN (great name too), sadly, I'm phones are allowed at her secondary, which infuriates me and is why I'm trying to draw up a battle plan now ...

It will be the other parents who'll prove the most tricky, as I said dd has friends who already allow phones in bedrooms and on sleepovers she's been woken at 2am, 3am, 5am by Instagram alerts, with the friend feeling the urgent need to reply right then. I guess hope that after a while the novelty wears off.

LockedOutOfMN Thu 28-Jul-16 23:49:51

Yes, let's hope so. Am baffled that the school actually allows mobile phones; what is their policy? Do they give advice / guidelines to parents or students on how best to use phones at home?

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Fri 29-Jul-16 09:49:10

I don't know their policy exactly, as she hasn't started yet, but I do know phones are allowed. At a talk, they said phones were part of the modern world and children had to learn to live with them - I see their point sort of, but would also like my child to have a guaranteed break from technology. Many of my friends' kids seem to be about to start schools with similar policies, so it's not just us ... makes me feel old grin

LockedOutOfMN Fri 29-Jul-16 12:51:13

I agree with you, OP; I can see the school's point of view that children need to live with phones as they're part of today's world, but it would also be nice for them to have a break. Ideally, schools could use phones as part of the teaching and learning process, and I'm sure that many try to do so; even better if things like WhatsApp or Instagram can be disabled during lesson time.

If I were you, I would ask the school for a copy of their policy, if only to prevent your daughter from getting into trouble in a "grey area", i.e. there are probably rules as to how and when and where phones can and cannot be used.

(Also I'd be interested to know what the school does regarding insurance and liability - even if parents are asked to sign a disclaimer saying that the school is not liable for damage or theft I'm not sure that they can wriggle out of the responsibility that easily. (I believe this to be the principal reason why many other schools ban phones).

CuboidalSlipshoddy Fri 29-Jul-16 13:10:25

Am baffled that the school actually allows mobile phones; what is their policy?

Attempting to pretend that in 2016, or more to the point that by 2023 when children starting secondary school will leave, that mobile phones are anything other than the warp and weft of modern life is crazy. Teaching about the safe, responsible and effective use of technology is one of the things education is trying to do; trying to be King Knut (yes, I know that in fact he was trying to prove that he could not hold back the tide, but you know what I mean) makes you look like, well, King Knut.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 29-Jul-16 13:19:48

Cuboidal I agree with you. To clarify, I wasn't saying that schools shouldn't allow mobile phones; it's just that in my experience I don't know any schools that do.

teta Fri 29-Jul-16 13:30:02

My dd's just come to the end of year 7.None of her friends use Facebook but they virtually all have Instagram and Snapchat.There is often a class Instagram page and small group chat set up by friends.Snapchat seems to be predominantly a female thing ( my 2 boys hardly use it).
My Dd1 (17) has dd2's passwords and moniters her account regularly ( she doesn't know!).Snapchats are generally only sent to close friends,family members.
The only issues we've had was the initial period on Instagram where dd2 and her friends accepted friends requests from strangers and we realised - warned the school,parents and wiped her account temporarily. ( In year 6).It's quite difficult explaining to 10 year olds why it's inappropriate for adult men to befriend you!
Dd2 is mature and largely organises her own social life (due to having an older sIster).Instagram is very important amongst her friends as they all live quite far apart ( she doesn't attend the local school).Saying that she uses Instagram to contact her local friends too.
I remove her phone at night and keep it in my bedroom.Her friends are frequently snapchating well past 10 pm .DD2 is on a pay as you go contract on a cheap MotoG.I don't agree with kids having expensive phones or iPads ( with 4 dc's everything's gets damaged anyway)

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 29-Jul-16 15:26:29

Regarding other people I operate the 'I am not their parent strategy'
It is possible to have one rule for you as an adult and another for them. DD is not allowed her phone in her room at night, but I am as I am answering emergency calls.
DD's school allows phones, but they must be on silent, never seen in a lesson and no charging at school.
I have talked to DD about how once something is out there you have no control, so never say anything you wouldn't say to someone's face, never posted anything you wouldn't like your granny to see are easy to follow rules. If you see or experience bullying do not engage, screenshot, block and tell an adult.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 29-Jul-16 15:28:38

Following on from Lonecatwithkitten's advice, another tip I've heard used a lot is never to write anything in a message online that you wouldn't read aloud in assembly.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Fri 29-Jul-16 19:04:25

This is all so useful. Thank you all.

smellylittleorange Mon 08-Aug-16 23:18:35

I'll admit I struggled - the biggest mistake I made was to ban certain stuff like Instagram - not realising that it is so much more to them then a filter photo app nowdays. SHe was so desperate to have an account. My rules are "supposedly" chill out time when home from school but not on devices, homework then a bit of device time. Devices outside in the hallway charging when going to bed. I hate it tbh I found a secret Instagram account which I now monitor. There are lots of inappropriate conversations going on - only yesterday we had a conversation about resharing something because it had F * not the actual swearing but alluding to it. It is all so much hard work keeping on top of it and DD is the type who gets really addicted to things too.

I'm just saying this not to prove what a crap mum I am but to try and prep you to steal yourself, Instagram is a very vacuous app lots of pout and posing in belly tops. If I had my way she wouldnt have it at all but I have bigger battles to fight and secret accounts just get made up anyway. This way I can monitor more.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 10-Aug-16 16:20:54

thanks orange, sure you are not a crap mum. What doe chill out time mean without devices? What can they do? I'm steeling myself, appreciate your support!

smellylittleorange Wed 10-Aug-16 17:54:24

usually with her it's colouring, watching tv reading or random dancing in the garden! It is really just a way of allowing her not to jump straight into homework but not getting stuck on devices because then it so hard to get her off it.

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