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 Post subject: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:19 pm
Posts: 32
Hi all
My eldest dd is in Year 6 and we have bought her a smart phone for her birthday at the end of the month. We have put this purchase off for as long as we can, but as she will be 11 and starting to branch out and going out more independantly it seemed like the right time. She will be one of the last in her class to have a phone and definitely the last of her friends!
Obviously we have some concerns - firstly about restricting internet use on it, checking internet use, and also use of the phone not becoming excessive.
Does anyone have any recommendations - I would love to know how other families manage these issues.
Thanks in advance


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6691
Location: Herts
Start as you mean to go on. I predict she will become addicted very very quickly, especially if she has been waiting for so long.

99% of the arguments in our household of two teenage girls are over the phone. I downgraded one dd to a Nokia brick for her GCSEs as I knew the smart phone would destroy all her chances of doing well.

She is underage for Facebook but many sign up with a fake birthdate.

Are you planning to check the phone at all?

So much time will be hoovered up by it.

I would make sure it is kept downstairs and not in the bedroom and especially not overnight.

Also not at mealtimes and other family times like Christmas and birthdays unless being used as a camera.

We were out for dinner last night and a older couple were sitting sadly watching as their son and grandson stared into their phones for the whole meal. DG


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:19 pm
Posts: 32
Thank you DG!
Yes I will definitely be checking the phone to make sure everything is 'above board'!
I had already planned to ensure it is kept downstairs overnight - I remember you saying previously that children can be up all nights on various gadgets. My plan for now is that it won't be taken to school, she can check it on arriving home, then check it after tea and homework and probably again before bed.
I hate gadgets with a passion, and I have dreaded this milestone! However we are in a changing world and I think that some new technologies have to be embraced (or maybe just tolerated!). I also think that if I monitor things at this stage and stay in control, I can hopefully encourage sensible use and good habits. Even if I refused dd a phone, she would still be spending time with other friends who have phones and might not be so sensible - so there is no avoiding the problem really!


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4606
I would agree with keeping the phone out of their room at night. Mine are a little older & I beleive that they need to learn to self regulate - after all you won't be there to take it off them when they leave home. However my 15 year old has to put his phone & laptop out of his room at night. The other day I picked it up after he had plugged it in to charge as it flashed. I don't have access to his phone, but on the front screen it said "39 messages" in a group chat. This was in the 20 minutes or so since he had gone to bed & this is why they are up all night on their phones as they are constantly buzzing & bleeping with group chats on What's App and other social media. And that's apart from any dodgy activity, that's just communication.


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6691
Location: Herts
You sound very sensible. The peer group will be your biggest problem.

Are some of them allowed to take the phone to school?

The phone enables us to lead the lives we do enabling up to meet up all over the place and change plans at the last moment but it could also have a very negative impact on family life if not managed carefully. DG


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 987
Location: Birmingham
Some great points from DG.

I know everyone has their own approach to parenting, but I would be clear about your expectations and state that this a deal between you - your DD is keeping the phone on the basis that she sticks to what she agrees to now and give her a chance to say if there is anything she is unhappy to agree to.

I was clear to my 2 DS that I would be checking what is on it at any point and had access to their passcodes and I am glad I did as there were some rocky patches along the way once all their friends started using whatsapp! Having said that, I rarely check now that they are getting older.

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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 720
I find the easiest way is to look at the phone at random intervals to check their social media. All photos they take come automatically to our family drop box which is a great way to check them. All emails still come to my dh at the same time as the children so we know what they are getting that way. Also the settings on our home computer (family settings etc) are also on our phones so they cannot access inappropriate sites. ..
I also agree that meals and family time are not times for having phones out!


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
Posts: 2080
I have to confess that we - make that I; I doubt DH ever had any intentions of monitoring anything, as in his world everyone behaves really well - intended to monitor and it all started off well. I did random phone checks in Year 7 but other things eventually got in the way, not least the kids' superior knowledge. People on here tell us all the time to make sure that we are au fait with at least the basics - good advice. I do think it depends on your relationship with your kids though / what they are like. Mine tell me nothing - I really did give calm, patient and understanding a good go :lol: - but they tell me enough to satisfy my curiosity but none of the important stuff. I now tell them that I will google them whenever I feel like it. If I can find out stuff, others will be able to too. My son calls me 'the stalker' but I don't care. If he chooses to tweet inappropriate stuff, I will see it. If he doesn't want me to see it, he needs to think twice about tweeting the thing in the first place.

DD finds it a little difficult sometimes. She recently told me that she was feeling left out because she could see her friends' snapchat stories and it was clear that they were organising things without her. I did point out that I didn't want her spending every Saturday shopping especially now that she is in Year 10, but she said it would have been nice to have been asked.

Both had ask.fm accounts without permission and I told them to delete them. DD couldn't see what the fuss was about - I was quite shocked at her sense of humour - so I suggested we share her posts with her grandparents. The account was deleted immediately.


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 Post subject: Re: Smart phone safety
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4606
Teenagers 'checking mobile phones in night' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-37562259


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