It’s hard to choose what age your children will have a phone, if they will at all. Now my kids are teenagers, I personally like them to have phones so that I can contact them at all times. In saying this, phones can be dangerous and addictive so I’ve made sure to put restrictions in place for their usage of the phones. There was an interesting discussion on the TODAY Show a few months ago about how not just kids but adults are on phones too much made me wonder what screen time restrictions other parents have in place.
All 3 of my kids now have phones as they all socialise on their own with their friends and I want them to have the ability to call me. None of them have data on their phone, so they can’t access any apps while out of the house – their phone is purely for phone calls and texts only. I also use an app called OurPact. OurPact allows me to restrict the amount of time they spend on their device, switching off specific apps at 8pm every weeknight and I give them a little longer on weekends.
The phone and iPad screen rules in our home are:
- My kids don’t have access to their phones or iPad’s between 8.30pm-7.15am to ensure they get a good nights sleep and ready on time for school.
- No phones at the dinner table or while we are watching TV or movie together.
- No screens when they can see dinner is being made, to encourage them to come and help.
- I keep note of all kids passwords.
- I can access their devices at any time.
Apples iOS 12 has recently introducted a new feature to reduce interruptions and manage screen time. I am yet to fully utilise this, but think it’s fabulous it’s been implemented. Read more here.
I asked our Facebook Community – Do you have limits and rules in your home of when you, your partner or kids can and can’t use their phones or iPads? Here are 10 ways they provided to limit kids screen time:
- We have no screens during the week – unless it’s for homework or we’re playing something as a family (Pokemon walk or Mario Kart battle) – Kate G
- No phones at meals (So your delicious meal will have to miss its photo op).
No phones when out of the house (a bit old fashioned but you can call them back when your home). No kids rules as of yet because they don’t have phones (1yr and 3yrs) – Nicole T.
- No iPads through the school week and only an hour allowed in the Xbox. Definitely no devices at the dinner table for kids and adults. – Lesley R.
- No electronics whatsoever except the radio at 7 p.m. until the next morning. I use my phone to take pics and look up stuff on what I’m doing. When my kid gets older he will have limited screen time and no phone until about high school and starts out with the flip. – Christina L.
- My sons are 5 and 3. No TV before school/daycare No electronics in public. EVER. I feel they need to learn to be patient and learn about the world around them. If we are shopping we discuss the food. If we are waiting at the doctors we look at magazines, picture books, sing quietly whatever. I REFUSE to have a kid that only behaves when they’ve got a screen in front of them. Tv/devices are limited to an hour a day, usually after school before dinner, homework, bedtime routine etc. So far so good, we’ve done it this way forever so there are no tantrums when it’s switch off time. – Jess J
- No access before school. Free to play after school til dinner. After dinner at mums discretion. – Anna J.
- NO phones to be used when out at lunch/dinner etc, or at other people’s tables. My daughter had a friend over the other week, they’re 20 years old, and we sat out back to make s’mores, she spent all her time in between checking her phone and throwing in the odd comment here and there about other people. It was beyond bad manners, she’s a lovely girl, but was clueless. – Taylor B.
- I allow time on the tablet in the mornings once they are ready for school but it’s for spelling or maths games only. If they spend time on a tablet after school it takes so much longer to get them to sleep! – Carrie T.
- Our boys are 14, 12 and 7. The rule is no electronics during the week unless it’s for homework. They don’t have any phones, just tablets and Xbox and PlayStation 4. They are allowed to play on the weekends but only after they have done some chores. – Kerry L.
- No electronic devices during the week of school. Until Friday afternoon as long as all chores are done. Weekends minimal time on screen and gaming systems – Allison S.