What's something you wish you knew/did before giving a device to your preteen?

Some of us have children who have had devices for quite a while now. Let’s share some things we wish we’d known or done before handing over that device!

Good topic, @Angela_Powell_Woulfe! I think it’s important to know that most all devices have built in parental controls and how to set them up. We use iOS Screen Time, and Android’s Google Family Link for parent settings / filtering. Also, I think it’s good to have knowledge and realistic expectations of WHAT parents can access on their children’s devices. For example, many parents want their kid’s text messages all copied to their parent device, and depending on what you get that may not be possible. Especially with iOS- I hear so many say they had no idea how locked down iOS privacy is- that’s a big one! After getting their kids an iPhone, many parents say if they knew beforehand how secure, private, and proprietary they were they would have never given an iPhone. I think it’s really important to do some research and understand how the device & OS works inside and out before giving! :slight_smile:

I think it’s a good idea to make a list of what’s important to you, whether it be: limiting a contact list to parent selected only, blocking the app store, kid friendly browser, GPS capabilities and compatibility, etc., and really doing that research to find out IF it is possible on the device you are picking out!

Devices aside, when looking at content I say if you aren’t familiar you should try the app out for yourself for a few days to see if you approve. Don’t trust app store ratings! They are not always reliable. Just because an app is rated 12+ doesn’t always mean it’s suitable for a 12 year old.

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That is such a great point about app ratings. I don’t think enough parents really understand ratings and that they still need to do their research!

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Don’t do it. Preteens do not need a smart phone. If they do get a flip phone or a gizmo watch. Or a gabb phone.