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Smartphones and 10 year olds?(12 Posts)
10 year old step son got a smart phone for Christmas...(not from us!)
I'm an old fashioned teacher mum of four and probably a bit archaic but not a fan of too much screen time. Haven't set ground rules yet in our house on this phone he's been given.
Thoughts? Advice? Experience?
It's a scary world we're now living in.
I'd be extremely careful and agree with you that it's too young. You should make sure that all the apps he's on are safe and that it's all linked to his Mum's phone so she can see messages he might receive.
It's not you though, it's what their dad think is acceptable. Let him decide.
My DH and I already agreed that when Dsd gets a phone that the main rule is that she can’t take it upstairs with her during bedtime because she’s rubbish at going to bed /sleep already without a phone! (11.30pm bedtimes for an eight year old?!)
Make sure it's charged downstairs at night. That's the one rule I really with I'd implemented with ours right from the start. Prevents late night gaming or messaging.
Whoever owns the phone and pays the bills (his mum?) should have admin rights at that age which means they have to approve downloading new apps. If she doesn't, your DP could try talking to her about it, if they're amicable enough that she'd listen.
Otherwise, try and take an interest in what he's doing on it. Friend/follow him on social media, signing up to new platforms if necessary. Ask him what games he's playing, try playing them, and open up ways to talking about what he's up to so it doesn't become an entirely secret part of his life.
And a house rule of no phones at the table for meals is an obvious one
Devices left downstairs overnight
An app like Qustodio put on the phone
No phones at mealtimes
In terms of your values and what you think it right/ wrong - I would say stick with that with your DC and let your DH decide how he feels on this one.
I have very different views on tech to my DP’s EW (she thinks it’s evil), I think it needs careful monitoring but don’t think it is evil. My DC have tech. What my DP’s DC have/ don’t have / have access to to/ don’t have access too is of zero concern to me. That’s their parents area, I stay well out of it.
That as approach might work if your kids are very different ages Sassy. But if they're close in age and spending significant times together there are some things you need to agree on as house rules or you get a lot of complaints from the kids who feel hard done by.
I don’t agree with you.
Unless you have 4 parents with the same values, compromises on something like this become very difficult. Especially if there is the chance they have been done to antagonise the other parent.
So if the smartphone has been purchased to antagonise the OP and her DP, what compromises do you expect the OP to be able to make without antagonising the 10 year old?
The ones I’ve suggested will help control device usage within the house, but what else do you suggest? Banning it?
If the OP’s DC don’t have smartphones and this causes issues because the OP’s values are different, then it will need to be dealt with by conversation. (I also agree that 10 is wayyyy too young for a smartphone, but some of my DC’s friends have had them since the age of 8).
But what is your suggestion?
When SD was 10 or 11, her mother gave her her old phone. At first, my DP wasn't allowing her to bring it here. At that time, she was playing a lot with my son and their relationship was great. At 11, she started bringing it and spent most of her time watching videos and chatting. There stopped the playing in "real" life. They would just both be around the phone. The other day, I heard DP talking to his ex about this, but I think it's too late.
I got my 10 y o a playstation this year, because all of his friends play it and there's nothing else to do in the small town where we live, but I strictly control the time, explain (non stop) about possibility of addiction, register him to activities, make him do chores.
I am also old fashioned and I hate all these electronics, so I don't have a better advice.
Things that in my view can be house rules include:
- Which hours they are allowed to play games on a phone (we use fixed times rather than trying to keep track of a number of hours per child)
- rules about where it stays at night
- router settings - which can include preventing access to adult sites, gambling, gaming or YouTube, as you choose
- router hours (ours goes off at night)
- no phones at the table
For all those things you and your DP can agree between you and implement for all the DC/DSc fairly.
The things you can't have house rules for are:
- owning a phone
- data limits
- being allowed social media
For those you need to agree with you ex, or sometimes just accept what they've decided if they're the primary carer and pay the phone bill. You're within your rights to make different rules for your own DC as for the DSC in those issues, but IME you'll get a lot of resentment if you do.
OP - the other thing I'd suggest is if your DSS is pushing for social media, allowing them a profile as long as they share their password with you is a good way of helping guide them into what to do or not do in that world. It enabled me to have a couple of really useful conversations with DD when she was still quite naive.
Dp and I have very different rules on tech - no phones thank god yet. I insist on everyone putting them down for family time for at least an hour to n evening/each day at weekends plus mealtimes eg film or games night/walk/park/swimming etc .
He doesn't think it matters but I loathe how addicted they are to them.
No tech in bedrooms at night and no screens including TV at mealtimes.
OHs son is 10 and he has an iPhone, and he honestly gives zero damns about it. He only has it because his mum wants to track him (quite literally, checks that he’s got to middle school okay etc). He doesn’t have any social media on there.
He brings it here when he’s over and he doesn’t look at it once.
I think that tech is very much here to stay, and as a very tech family we know where to limit it and how to put restrictions on the things they shouldn’t be looking at. My dd1 has an iPad (shes 7) and it’s highly restricted and she can only use it for a certain amount of time a day, she can choose how and when she uses that time.
I think as long as it’s controlled well there is no problem with tech.
I don’t think 10yo should be on any form of social media and if this was on the phone I’d personally delete it.