My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To think we can start keeping kids safer brick by brick?

73 replies

Howmuchbookingfee · 04/02/2024 13:57

What if every parent whose child is starting Year 7 in September and getting a phone for the first time get them a brick phone which is just for safety and peace of mind for us and them? No Insta, no TikTok, no Snapchat etc until they are older and more mature? They can unwind mentally at the end of the school day and at weekends and holidays. Schools could support by introducing 'No smartphones' for that and subsequent year groups. I think it would be something parents can do while we wait for politicans and profiteers to act?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

142 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
39%
You are NOT being unreasonable
61%
Dotchange · 04/02/2024 13:59

Safer in what way?

People hurt children before phones and social media existed.

But yes, of course children that age don’t need smartphones.

Likemyjealouseel · 04/02/2024 13:59

There’s a movement to do this at my kids’ school.

SharedAccountWithMySister · 04/02/2024 14:00

Don’t think this would work. There’d be no location tracking, and you’d inevitably end up with older siblings with better phones showing off.

Sirzy · 04/02/2024 14:01

You’re never going to get it so it’s a blanket thing now. Much better to focus better on how we are monitoring thing, removing access to apps that make it harder to monitor etc and generally educating ourselves as parents and children.

OpalOrchid · 04/02/2024 14:02

It won't make any difference. There has always been bullying etc, Way before mobile phones were common place.

Kalevala · 04/02/2024 14:02

Mine has never used insta, tiktok or snapchat. He uses discord, maps when out and about, camera, accessed his timetable and other things for school.

Kalevala · 04/02/2024 14:05

Dotchange · 04/02/2024 13:59

Safer in what way?

People hurt children before phones and social media existed.

But yes, of course children that age don’t need smartphones.

Should they go back to navigating with a page out of the street directory like I did and looking at bus times at the bus stop and realising you've just missed one? Phones are useful.

PonyPatter44 · 04/02/2024 14:14

Instead of banning, educate. Make parents more confident about checking phones, and setting rules. Improve young people's mental health and build their resilience so that they can cope better with stupid and nasty behaviour from their peers.

In a perfect world I'd say, get rid of society's weird fascination with serial killers, but somehow I don't think that's going to happen.

Longwhiskers · 04/02/2024 14:23

There is a school that has done this. In Surrey I think - and it recently got state school of the year in The Times rankings. They sign an agreement with parents that Y7s will only have basic brick phones. Must be hard to implement.d

OneMoreTime23 · 04/02/2024 14:25

DD is year 8 but they get them to look stuff up on their phones in class. DD has an iPhone but no Snapchat, TikTok or YouTube. There are limits on when she can be on it and what she can look at. It’s not hard to enact some level of security on a smartphone.

Hollyhead · 04/02/2024 14:26

Parents just need to learn to use the controls properly. My year7 has a smart phone, we control what goes on app wise, it switches off at 8.30pm and is virtually unusable until 7.30am the next morning. Every time he visits a website for the first time we allow or disallow. Simple.

AllProperTeaIsTheft · 04/02/2024 14:26

But not all parents would want to do this. Schools can ban phone use in school. They have absolutely zero power to dictate 'no phones' at home.

MuggleMe · 04/02/2024 14:43

My 9yo walks to middle school so has a phone. It's a normal cheap smartphone but everything is locked down except texting and calling (and only her parents and an emergency contact are in there). She has ASD so I'm not planning on her getting on social media for a very long time.

DinnaeFashYersel · 04/02/2024 14:46

You can't put the genie back in the bottle.

What we need to do is teach kids how to use phones, internet, social media safely. How to get help. How to navigate it all.

PuttingDownRoots · 04/02/2024 14:47

My Yr6 DD recently found out she was of a few people (genuinely!) not on the class WhatsApp group.

She doesn't have a phone... but the fact she wasn't even asked was the bit that hurt.

Secondary school is too late... if you want to do this, it will need to be Yr5 really.

artfuldodgerjack · 04/02/2024 14:49

Robert Thompson, Jon Venables, Mary Bell and dozens of other child murderers didn't have access to the internet.
Unfortunately, there will always be evil people in this world.

TippingTree · 04/02/2024 15:10

Year 7 is too late. My DD is in year 5, some kids had phones last year (mainly those with separated parents), and more got them at Christmas. Of those that have phones, only one has a basic handset, the rest have iPhones. I can’t see how you’d convince parents to do it, there will always be someone trying to justify why their child needs a smart phone/instagram/Snapchat. I can’t see a way society can go back on this.

underneaththeash · 04/02/2024 15:16

DDs school doesn’t allow smartphones at school for under year9.
she has one at home though, as do her older brothers. We don’t allow phones in bedrooms, but they have social media and we’ve never had an issue.

ColdAsConcrete · 04/02/2024 16:20

It will never work. DD is Yr6 and all the kids bar two have smart phones, the other two don't have any.
Mine don't have insta, TikTok or Snapchat.
Gaming is limited to 30 minutes a day- after DS's teacher said he was being left out at break time as all the other children are gaming.
YouTube : both have it on 1 minute before it shuts down I.e. they need to come and ask me to watch something and I ask what they want to watch.
Downtime is 7-7 for DD and 800-7 for DS.
I've this weekend installed WhatsApp on my DS(14) phone as he has been asking for a while now and is beginning to be excluded. DD is something of an anomaly and doesn't want it after hearing of drama in the class, people complaining of other kids messaging through the night, nor has she given her phone number out except to her two best friends.

But no matter what I do, that doesn't change the fact that I have no control over her friends' or classmates' internet usage. One has no controls and takes her phone to school (not allowed) and has unrestricted gaming/youtube/netflix at home. That's not going to be solved by only having a brick. It's not an issue of smart phones. With the correct parental controls you can turn them into a "brick".

Goblinmodeactivated · 04/02/2024 16:31

Longwhiskers · 04/02/2024 14:23

There is a school that has done this. In Surrey I think - and it recently got state school of the year in The Times rankings. They sign an agreement with parents that Y7s will only have basic brick phones. Must be hard to implement.d

Didn’t know that. How brilliant. Of course not all parents will comply but if you get a critical mass then it totally takes the peer pressure element out of phones and SM.
KIds need the escape from all the politics and pressure of teenage life; we used to get that as soon as we left school each day/each week; but phones mean teens are constantly connected to each other and to harmful influences.
it just takes organisations like that school to be brave!

Dotchange · 04/02/2024 16:39

Kalevala · 04/02/2024 14:05

Should they go back to navigating with a page out of the street directory like I did and looking at bus times at the bus stop and realising you've just missed one? Phones are useful.

Surely Y7’s are going back and forth to school, so same buses, same schedule?

ImInACage · 04/02/2024 16:54

I'd love it, but our school issues homework via an app that is only accessible on a smart phone, meaning we have no choice but to get DS one, as he won't be able to see what homework he has if the app is on our phones and we're at work.

Kalevala · 04/02/2024 16:56

Dotchange · 04/02/2024 16:39

Surely Y7’s are going back and forth to school, so same buses, same schedule?

And catching up with friends at the weekend. From year 8 anyway, ds was catching buses and trains.

Kalevala · 04/02/2024 16:57

Maps too, when they are out on bikes exploring

parietal · 04/02/2024 17:01

Hollyhead · 04/02/2024 14:26

Parents just need to learn to use the controls properly. My year7 has a smart phone, we control what goes on app wise, it switches off at 8.30pm and is virtually unusable until 7.30am the next morning. Every time he visits a website for the first time we allow or disallow. Simple.

@Hollyhead what phone and what software does this? I've never found one that could give proper control of what websites my kids want to visit, but still allows travel essentials like google maps and Citymapper.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.