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What are your house rules for mobile phones and devices? Tell O2 for a chance to win an iPad Mini NOW CLOSED

(239 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Aug-14 15:05:59

We've been asked by O2 to find out about Mumsnetters' house rules for mobile phones and other technology devices.

Here's what O2 say: "We know families are using technology more than ever, with most households now having several devices online at any time, whether it be their phones, their laptop, their games consoles, their tablet, or their smart TV. But we also know that parents are very unsure about the rules they should set around usage. So we?d like to open a discussion about how you set - and follow - digital house rules for your family, to help other parents feel a little more confident about setting their own.?

So, what technology rules do you have for your DCs? Do phones have to be switched off overnight? Perhaps your DCs have a limit on how much time they can spend online on their phone?

Do you use any rules to keep your DCs safe online? Maybe you check their social networks profiles? Or perhaps you have parental controls in place to stop them accessing particular sites? Or maybe you prefer to keep the house rules to a minimum?

Whatever your house rules are, O2 would love to hear about them!

Everyone who comments on the thread will be entered into a prize draw to win an Apple iPad mini with Retina display, 16GB Space, thanks to O2.

Please note comments on this thread might be used by O2 on their website or on their social media channels: please only add a comment if you're happy for your comment to be used.

Thanks and good luck,


PS - O2 also say "We think that technology is amazing, but we also know it can be a little confusing.
Join our Gurus in store to discover how you can make an app or learn how to keep your family safe online.
Our workshops are free and open to everyone. Sign up here, You're all welcome."

EskSmith Thu 07-Aug-14 17:22:22

Ok my children are still quite small (7 & 5) but these are our rules.

Dad's have a 3ds each, internet disabled unless for something specific. Access to mine & dh's tablets, both have simne child friendly apps on and use of the home laptop.

Rules are
Internet enabled devices in shared areas only - not in bedrooms.
Ask before using the internet.
No installing apps programs yourself.
I have safe browsing enabled and router level filtering.

Most importantly we talk about how to stay safe on line and what to do if you come across something dodgy/you didn't expect.

FreckledLeopard Thu 07-Aug-14 17:26:53

No rules as such (DD is 13) though I do check her internet history periodically (plus she generally uses her laptop when I'm there so I can see what she's doing - Instagram and SnapChat mostly). The only rule is that she asks before downloading ANY apps which require payment. We learned the hard way years ago when she somehow used my phone to download add-ins for games and I ended up with £400 being taken out of my account angry.

MissRee Thu 07-Aug-14 17:48:31

We've just got DSS a cheapy mobile phone as he's been having some problems at home with his bio Mum and she's been refusing to let him call us.

We have set rules - switched off after 8pm, not to leave on charge near his bed or overnight and he's not allowed to take it to school. If he breaks it or loses it, he has to replace it.

WaxyDaisy Thu 07-Aug-14 17:56:50

We have parental controls on YouTube. We got a small tablet for the children to share so that it only has suitable apps for them on it and everything they might have to pay for is locked down tight. If the 2 yr old watches iplayer then we change the settings so she can't press any buttons.

calzone Thu 07-Aug-14 17:57:47

My boys are 12 and 9.

Ds1 has a mobile and he uses it to basically call me for lifts! He is not a chat to my mates type so no worries there.

He has an ipad mini but I trust him implicitly and he has never let me down.....nor do I think he will.

Ds2 mobile.

He has a Hudl.....again trust him, so know he would not download anything or buy anything without permission.

No devices before school.
Some after school when hw has been done.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Thu 07-Aug-14 18:32:21

2 DDs, ages 11 and 13.

I work on trust and openness. I have full access to all social networking accounts and we tend to keep internet use for family areas, no hiding in bedrooms online (DD1 would love to but we'd never see her).

I don't have parental controls, I want them to learn to surf safely without them. We have frank discussions on e-safety and cyber-bullying and I know their school covered it all really well too.

No apps (free or pay) can be downloaded without permission and they are really good with this. they always ask.

Our main rule is no gadgets at the table.

ouryve Thu 07-Aug-14 19:12:00

Both boys have Android tablets. DS2 can use his freely, but often chooses not to and he doesn't use the Internet. DS1, who is 10, has a strict 2 hour daily limit on his tablet and PC use, combined. The only social network he uses is a collector's website and conversation is minimal on it. We monitor his usage of that site.

Fanjango Thu 07-Aug-14 19:40:32

My 7 yo twins both have android tablets. They have no payment method attached so they can't buy anything, by accident or design! They can download the free apps and that's about it. The battery life on them is shocking so they self moderate grin
They and their little sister also play on my iPod, mainly for loom band videos at the moment.
Computer is in front room and monitored as to its use. We also use talktalks broadband restrictions to prevent them accessing inappropriate sites or content.
Eldest is 14 and has use of smartphone and xbox live. He's very trustworthy and always asks permission before he does anything, no payment method on xbox do he has to buy points with real money and can't access credit. I always have access to his Facebook password and am logged as a friend so I can monitor its use, he mainly uses it to play games anyway.
They all use tech quite a lot but I feel it's the way of the future, they will be using it in all walks of life by the tone they grow up do they best get used to it now. smile

HappySunflower Thu 07-Aug-14 20:13:39

Our house rules....

No devices at the meal table
Limited time on devices each day
Whatever time spent on iPad, double is spent outside doing something physical and getting fresh air.
I set a timer when my dd goes on the iPad, she has no more than 20 minutes on it at a time.

HappySunflower Thu 07-Aug-14 20:14:26

Oh and security....payment details not stored and in app purchases are prohibited. She is only able to access certain apps and functions.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Thu 07-Aug-14 20:17:44

I have a 3 year old and 5 year old.

They don't have their own devices. The 5 year old is allowed to use my tablet for 30 mins max a day. If it's a school day, then iPad time has to wait until after school. The 3 year old uses it sporadically (mostly a Peppa Pig app).

They are not allowed to delete anything or buy anything but I have so many passwords/restrictions on my iPad that this is practically impossible.

They tend to stick to playing on a handful of apps so I am happy to leave them to it eg while I have a quick shower. They know any messing about will result in iPad time being taken away.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Thu 07-Aug-14 20:18:21

Also, they are not allowed to use my iPhone.

bluebump Thu 07-Aug-14 21:05:23

My 6 year old shares an iPad with me (he thinks it is his!), he knows the pin number to log in but everything else is disabled. He must ask if he wants a new app or some new games and we tend to browse the app store together - i'm not sure he knows how to do this on his own, maybe.

He has an old iPhone 3 that he can use for music in his bedroom. He is not allowed to touch my phone!

He can use my laptop for the internet if he wants, there are some sites that work better on the laptop than the iPad.

We don't really have any set time limits on the devices but I do encourage him to turn it off after 30 mins or so and he is to use it once he has done any homework etc and long before bedtime.

GetKnitted Thu 07-Aug-14 21:06:11

mine are little, they're not allowed to do anything mobile online without our say so. I on the other hand am too likely to have a quick phone check over dinner, a habit I need to break asap. blush

ElephantsNeverForgive Thu 07-Aug-14 21:10:34

If I had any rules the DDs would feel free to try and I force them on me to.

Therefore we have no rules.

GoodboyBindleFeatherstone Thu 07-Aug-14 21:16:35

There are no rules in our house either. I set rules once, but I couldn't stick to them so I gave up. blush

I'm quite fond of gadgets!

Preciousbane Thu 07-Aug-14 21:18:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

heymammy Thu 07-Aug-14 21:24:21

My older two dc are 11 & 8 so don't have phones yet but they do have ipod touches and Nintendo ds consoles.

On school days they are allowed 1 hour of gadget time between 6-7pm. They don't usually complain although I have noticed dd1's ipod dinging with incoming messages long after 9 o'clock...drives me batty...but I'm currently debating whether she should be allowed an extra half hour after dd2 has gone to bed at 8.

No gadgets are allowed at the table (including adults btw). They understand it's rude and they def are not allowed them when we go out to eat.

iPods must be left downstairs when they go up to bed but I do relax this rule when the 11yr old has a pal here for a sleepover.

At weekends it all tends to go a bit crazy and they can be using their iPods for a couple of hours at a time. I only get strict about it if they start moaning that they don't want to go anywhere or come out with us. You can probably hear me yelling telling them firmly, "right, gadgets off!"

I've explained to the DDs that they must ever give out personal information on these games they play so that includes names, what city they live in, what school they go to and their age. Dd1 just can't get her head around the fact that not everyone is as they appear online.

I have decreed that I can read any and all of their messages/chats as I see fit (and I often do). They have to tell me if they change their password.


CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Aug-14 21:31:33

DS(8) has a Nexus tablet. It has a shedload of parental controls, and lives downstairs. Not allowed at tables or any social situation where he should be interacting with others.

I don't have a smartphone/tablet, dh leaves his phone downstairs at night, and I practice extreme sarcasm for adults looking at phones/tablets during meals or in company (friend who gets his ipad out when he's come round for drinks especially)

scousadelic Thu 07-Aug-14 22:19:07

My DCs are now 26 and 23 so we may have had things a bit easier than parents now. They had computers and games consoles but they were not portable so time on them was restricted by the fact you could only use them in that specific place.

We all did have mobile phones but they were not the all-singing all-dancing things you get today, they just made calls or texted so more for practicalities than fun. They were also strictly forbidden at school back then.

We were fairly laid back but having said that we did have some rules; no using phones at the table or after bedtime, use the computer sensibly and come off it at mealtimes, to see visitors, etc. We explained to our children that, just as some strangers were not nice in life, there were some people who were not nice on the internet and they should always tell us about anything that bothered them but, beyond that, we had very little control as they really did know more than we did. It was an age when parents and children were less aware of the dangers of the internet and possibly it was safer then as the predators were possibly less savvy too

Tommy Thu 07-Aug-14 23:11:58

I have 3 DSs - 12. 10 and 7. the older ones have laptops and ipod touch. They get taken away at "lights out" and any trying to get round this rule means it gets confiscated (and they know it). DS2 is always trying to get round it and sneak extra sessions but it means he often goes for a week or so without his ipod but doesn't learn!
the 7 year old has a kindle fire tablet but he is not that bothered by it so we don't need any rules as such.

No rules as such, but we only have laptops and consoles in the main living room. Until very recently they just didn't have access to the Internet anywhere else so keeping a subtle eye on them was easy. We relaxed this when ds1 turned 16. At some point you have to trust that all the things you've tried to teach them,about respect and Internet safety and everything else has sunk in...

rootypig Thu 07-Aug-14 23:28:39

Watching with interest as DD comes up to two, and we need to start modelling good technology habits. Am also pretty clueless about parental locks and internet monitoring.

The hard and fast rule I learned growing up, even before the advent of mobile phones - no technology at the table! I have noticed friends using their smart phones during dinners / drinks out more and more, and find it so rude. That goes double at home.

magentastardust Fri 08-Aug-14 00:19:54

My oldest 2 have a tablet (blackberry playbook) each, they are 7 and 10. The 10 year old also has a relatively cheap mobile home which is used for keeping tabs on him when he his out playing at the park.

I check the history now and again on the tablets, there is no payment set up on their accounts for apps but they have to let me see what free apps they do download on them.
No time limits on phone or tablets but not really been an issue-DS seems to only switch phone on when he needs to text me or make call-doesn't really keep it on or use it 'socially' among his peers yet. It is still seen as quite a functional thing for him just now which I am quite glad about.

I try and limit the time on the playbooks-DD (7) uses hers for playing on and writing stories. DS (10) uses it for youtube videos, BBC sports etc -he doesn't use social media such as Facebook or Instagram...but suspect that will come in the next couple of years.

We don't use technology at meal times/at the table or when visitors are round-I think that is basic manners though!

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