pre teens and smart phones - your rules?
Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter · 13/09/2015 14:43
DD is about to start secondary school - after much negotiation we have finally agreed she can have a smart phone. Initially we said no and took the "but everyone is getting one, all my friends have a WHatsAp group!" with a pinch of salt - but more and more parents have confirmed this is actually true, and that even teachers for some classes set up class Whatsap groups so today DH has set up my old Samsung Android smart phone for her with wi-fi but no internet contract... obviously she can make calls and has a payg SIM (we were originally going to give her a very, very old brick phone just to keep in the bottom of her bag for calling us in an emergency, as her new school is a longish bus ride from home).
DD is delighted and has already set up a Whatsap group with 2 neighbor girls whom she would normally have walked down the street and called for :( (The rot begins :( ) and been chatting to them for hours on Whatsap.
She went up to her room with the phone and shut the door (to get away from her younger siblings) but we called her back down...
What are your rules for preteens? No phones in the bedroom? Or just leave it downstairs at bedtime? We'd already set the leave it downstairs at bedtime rule (easy because DH and I do that ourselves), but now I'm wondering if she should take it up to her room at all...
bigbadbarry · 13/09/2015 14:45
Downstairs at bedtime and turned off half an hour before. I know her passwords. Beyond that, no hard and fast rules (she's not too crazy and on it all the time) though sometimes if I've noticed she's been on it a long time I'll suggest she put it down. I'm on mine an awful lot though so I don't feel I can be too hypocritical!
Yellowpansies · 13/09/2015 14:53
Mine has to share her password with me for any online account with messaging function. She knows I check it every so often. It has to live somewhere out of reach from her bed at night, downstairs if she's caught with it in bed when she should be sleeping. We've also been through various app settings and made sure they didn't make audible beeps at night. Also has a detailed look at privacy settings so she understands exactly who can see what.
And sometimes I confiscate it if I think it's distracting her from homework - she then works more efficiently because she wants it back.
Google plus has a great function where you can share your location with family if you want - great from tracking down DC when they don't appear when they should.
Frequency · 13/09/2015 14:59
I need the passwords for all social media accounts and must be able to check the phones as and when I please, any arguing and the phone will be confiscated.
The youngest, atm, is logged into my Facebook because she is worried about my HappyPets I trust her not to read my inbox messages, I fully expect her to and adopt a few abandoned cats, but I'll deal with apologetic mess
The eldest is happily discussing her latest crush via Instagram with her friends, knowing every single message is being sent to my phone as well as her own.
We have a very open relationship when it comes to social media, friends, secrets etc. I've managed this, imo, by not running a dictatorship. I will listen to and consider their opinions, they know I have final say and respect that, but if the answer is no I always explain my reasoning.
When DC1 was cyber bullied I was very tempted to take away her social media accounts, I told her my reasons, she explained she felt as though she was being punished for being the victim of bullying. She kept the accounts and showed me all messages, listened to me when I told her to ignore them.
I also make sure I educate myself on what they are using and keep their accounts private.
Phones are allowed in rooms to be used as alarms. They must not be played on, they respect this rule.
The biggest issue we have is phones being broken, tbh.
My advice would be to buy cheap phones, with cheap parts or cheap repair costs and expensive, protective cases.
Frequency · 13/09/2015 15:01
*I trust her not to read my inbox messages, I fully expect her to try and adopt a few abandoned cats, but I'll deal with apologetic messages to the rescues concerned, once she is done.
That'll learn me for MNetting while cooking
Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter · 13/09/2015 16:18
She already has an alarm, so she doesn't need it in her room for that - she's used to getting up early. We've already said that the phone stays downstairs at night and as that's where the chargers are set up and is what the adults in the house do too that one is fairly solid I think...
Passwords are a tricky one - I asked DD her password and she laughed ... but DH knows it as he set the phone up. A conversation needed there I think!
Atm she's not on social media, just WhatsAp, but of course the social media will rear its head soon enough, so ground rules about passwords need to be consistent! Frequency that level of openness sounds excellent!
Argh I'd really hoped to have a couple more years before all this started, but apparently not!
Yellowpansies · 13/09/2015 16:25
IMO, it's good to let them have social media accounts a little before they reach the age they're meant for (13 for most) as it gives you a lot more leverage in terms of sharing passwords, etc. Once they're old enough they can do it all much more privately so you lose the chance to monitor what they're putting up there
Blackcloudsbrightsky · 13/09/2015 16:27
I think - and I'm sure some will disagree - you're being a bit uptight and strict about it. Phones are just part of life now and I don't see a problem with children having them.
Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter · 13/09/2015 16:29
That is worth thinking about Yellow - its not even on her radar atm though. Its all Whatsap with her peers, but they have all only just got the smart phones - none of them had them at primary, and she was about the only one with her own email address (I can see her emails)... So I suppose she will start wanting social media accounts once her friends start talking about hem...
Yellowpansies · 13/09/2015 16:32
She'll probably want Instagram or Snapchat soon, that's what my DD (12) has. Facebook seems to be out of favour with youngsters.
Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter · 13/09/2015 16:34
I don't know Black - its not the phone itself so much as the near impossibility of monitoring internet access on a phone - she has internet access on a desktop at home but we can see all her activity on there. She'll be far from home at secondary school and travelling on public buses, doing her own thing at lunch time... cyber bullying and grooming and so on are valid concerns I think - knowing what already goes on within groups of kids outside adult earshot in terms of subtle meanness etc. but also that you never know who anyone really is on the internet, and children can be very gullible...
Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter · 13/09/2015 16:37
That's what somebody else told me too Yellow - I don't even know how those work really, (old and out of touch... sigh). I never really even got to grips with twitter... Steep learning curve coming up I guess...
Frequency · 13/09/2015 16:38
Instagram, Skype and Whatsapp are the main ones here.
DC2 uses FB to play games. DC1 uses it to keep in touch with relatives who live away.
Very few of their friends use it. They are all on Instagram.
The younger one uses Oovoo.
Instagram is mainly used to share pics of baby animals, make up tips and following You Tube personalities. It's all very tame.
Blackcloudsbrightsky · 13/09/2015 16:38
I completely understand that, but just the same, the Internet isn't going to go away and I would personally be a bit worried that too much uptightness around phones or tablets can lead to them actually being more appealing and exciting than they are.
I think rather than treating them with nervousness like a bomb about to go off its worth seeing them as a great accessory but obviously having regular conversations about cyber bullying and grooming and the like.
Vernonon · 14/09/2015 10:13
I have her Instagram account on my phone and check it regularly. Rules are no saying anything negative - even if it's mild or about herself - no asking for rates (hideous - some of her friends have been on 'hot or not' to get rated), no silly arguments. Only have followers that she knows in rl. No following accounts with swearing etc - I have been a bit lax on that one and she needs to cull. No posting pics that are unflattering or of people not on Instagram themselves.
There's definitely a lot of boasting, materialism, and sexual talk on Instagram but I think it's been useful to start earlier and be strictly monitored than let loose at 14 unsupervised. She's unfollowed various accounts - and I've sometimes just unfollowed accounts without telling her.
No iPad overnight in room. And limited time on it so she doesn't get caught up in constant checking of messages etc (it's stressful and they need some time awayfrom friends). I don't check her snapchat but have told her that I might at any point. She knows I will delete her account if I feel it gets out of hand so is pretty good about it all, and we've had useful discussions about how girls seem to be judged on their looks. It's quite depressing how often 'your so pretty' appears in comments and we've discussed the objectification and the lack of grammar a lot!
Jw35 · 14/09/2015 10:17
My 12 year old just got a smartphone. It stays sownstairs at bedtime but otherwise she has it.
shebird · 17/09/2015 17:04
I was as concerned as you OP about the constant usage. However as time has gone by this seems to have calmed down a lot and I suspect the novelty has worn off a bit.
In terms of rules, no social media is my big thing, although I know I'll have to give at some point. I know her password and check her phone now and then. No phone in her room at bedtime and phone off while doing homework. I think that it is important to step in and say switch off sometimes as the constant messaging and FaceTime can become really intrusive and they just never escape or have downtime.
PurpleBurtle · 20/09/2015 10:35
It's not so much the social media which has been a problem with my DS but the constant gaming. He has been nagging for fb for some time though but I refuse to give in until he is 13..only 6 months to go!! Its not just what he posts but what others post he might see, e.g I know of several younger kids on there and they are seeing very sexual or inappropriate stuff and I think its because people posting don't think twice that there 8 yr old niece can see it or whatever.
He also recently nagged for twitter whilst we were on holiday as he wanted to tweet the holiday park etc, which was fair enough, I let him use mine..he got bored pretty quick and its all forgotten about now.
As I say my issue is the gaming, his phone takes over his life and causes all sorts of problems, definitely changes his mood and behaviour, still trying to find some hard and fast rules but its defiantly a challenge!
Mrsmoneyworries · 20/09/2015 18:42
Sorry to butt in, but, how do you get your dc's messages sent to your phone frequency ? I would love to set that up
Heifer · 28/09/2015 22:46
For my DD (Yr 7) the rules re phone (and tablet/chromebook) are :
They all have to be left downstairs at night time.
She is not allowed to take them up to her room unless I'm around upstairs.
I have to know the password, She knows that I will randomly pick it up and flick through the texts and instagram. I don't read them word for word, but I can see who she is chatting to, and if the content is ok. I found that in group chat at the moment the girls self monitor pretty well as they know that they will get told off if anyone swears etc.
She did accuse me of being controlling and weird when I first mentioned the rules but soon realised that I wasn't the only Mum with these rules so she accepted them.
balletgirlmum · 28/09/2015 22:56
My rules (age 11 & 13 are)
- I know all passwords & can check the phone whenever I like
2. They have Norton Family instslled. I can see all browsing/search history & can block certain web categories.
3. Norton Family allows me if I so desired to check text transcripts.
4. I have their facebook/instagram accounts instslled on my phone & check them including personal messages frequently.
5. All electronics brought downstairs half an hour before bedtime & Norton Family blocks access between 9pm-6am anyway
6. All homework is done before phones are used after school.
balletgirlmum · 28/09/2015 22:57
- Strictly no Snapchat or Twitter (will allow twitter for 13 year old soon)
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