My Son Bought His Own iPad


iPad Mini

My oldest son, Big Boy, is eight years old and has saved up his birthday and Christmas money for the past couple of years to be able to buy his own iPad.

He has patiently awaited for this day and is super eager to get his iPad. But Mommy has been really reluctant to go and actually buy the darn thing. Why you ask? I am so afraid of him having access to the big scary world the Internet could open up to him. (Or moreover, I am more afraid of the big scary Internet world having access to him.)

But I am learning that he will eventually need to have access to it for research purposes. For now though, his access will be limited and I will explain more about that later on.

Finally this past week I did it. I went to the store and picked up the latest edition of the iPad Mini (the one with Retina display). Along with it I bought a case and screen protectors (those are so difficult to get on without getting air bubbles and dust particles caught underneath). Anyone good at putting these darn things on? It never fails that there are at least six bubbles on the screen that I just cannot get rid of!

Now you are probably saying, whoa Brandy, Big Boy saved up enough money to get the latest and greatest iPad? In actuality he did not save up that much money. He had about $350 saved as well as a few gift cards to our local big box store. The husband and I decided to buy the rest of the iPad for him for his upcoming birthday as well as the case and screen protectors.

We went with the iPad with Retina display because let’s face it, technology outdates so quickly these days that we did not want to have to purchase another tablet in another year or so.

We are really proud of Big Boy for saving up for such a big investment! Even I do not own a tablet!!!

I decided that before we give Big Boy the iPad that I would set it up and get it ready for use. This way he wouldn’t have to wait a few hours or better yet, a few days before he could start playing with it. So, he has no idea that the iPad is IN THE HOUSE!

I have downloaded a mix of educational and fun apps for him to try. Some he is familiar with and others will be new to him. As a former librarian, I have been extensively researching what apps to get the kids and found an excellent resource to refer to! I have also created a folder for our five year old, Little Man, in case Big Boy decides to be generous and let his brother play on the iPad as well. (But I am thinking maybe Mom or Dad will have to let Little Man try it out when Big Boy is out of sight, or at school.)

Another task I have completed in preparing the iPad for use is setting restrictions. This is what I have done so far to ensure my son is safe online and does not have access to things I do not want him to see:

  • Restrictions enabled. Only the parents know the passcode.
  • Safari, installing apps, deleting apps, access to the iTunes store, in-app purchases, etc. are all turned off.
  • Only allowed access to the camera for now (as kids love to take pictures).
  • Allowed content is set to Clean, PG, under 9+.
  • Changes are not allowed for contacts, Bluetooth, Twitter & Facebook (which are not installed anyway), etc.
  • Location services are turned off.
  • Created a folder for Parents Only where Settings, Music, Mail, Games Centre, Contacts, Newsstand, and Messages are located.

iPad Mini

There will also be a set of ground rules for iPad use in our house.

  • Always ask Mom or Dad before using the iPad.
  • Clean your hands before using.
  • Please do not eat while using the iPad.
  • iPad can only be used when Mom or Dad are in the room.
  • iPad stays in the living room/kitchen at night.
  • iPad stays at home and only travels on trips
  • Please listen to Mom and Dad when they say time is up.
  • Mom and Dad will download and install apps.
  • Please share with your brother.
  • You can earn more iPad time if you help out around the house.
  • The Internet is off limits for now.
  • The second page of apps is where your apps begin. The first page is for Mom and Dad.
  • Please shut down the iPad when you are finished.

I have stated for now that he will not be able to connect with others through the Wifi connection (but Wifi is enabled on the iPad for now as some apps need it to operate I guess) as well as not to give out any personal information while online (i.e. names, addresses, etc.).

A neat idea I saw today was that before you give your kids access to your Wifi connection they need to do a few chores. So I may just implement this in the future!

Am I going overboard? Maybe.

Will my son be upset? Possibly.

I believe that by taking these precautions it will give us peace of mind when our son is on his iPad. As the kids get older, we will allow more freedom on the tablet as we gain their trust in being able to handle the responsibilities that come along with owning such a device!

Do your kids own a tablet or have access to one? What precautions do you take while your kids are online?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I wrote it so that other family’s could have a comprehensive resource to refer to if they are thinking of allowing their child to have access to such an expensive purchase.

Brandy Reid is a stay at home mom to two very active and hockey obsessed boys. As a former YA librarian, Brandy loves to read and is obsessed with reading everyday whether it be books or blogs. Brandy proudly admits that she is a wee bit addicted to social media, especially Twitter. She also believes that everything in life you can related to the iconic TV Show Friends. No day is complete without chocolate.


  1. Peady
    May 15, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I think it’s really great that he saved his money and bought something he really wanted (mostly) on his own. I also think it’s very sweet hat Mom & Dad chipped in on the essentials to keep it safe.

    That is a great way to give him the freedom to make a choice, but also allows you to keep the door open for checking in on him (all the times!!) and making sure he’s being responsible. Win win!

  2. ashley p
    May 15, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    that’s wonderful! We do have an ipad. My in-laws bought it for ODS 15 months ago for help with speech therapy (there are SO many apps available to help) They both play with it occasionally, but do not have the password or access to internet

  3. Deanna T. (@MapleLeafMommy)
    May 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    It’s most certainly not just you, those screen protectors are devilishly difficult to put on!

    Love your iPad ground rules, well thought out. Would love to hear your son’s reaction when he finally gets his much anticipated prize.

  4. Randa
    May 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Good for him! I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, he EARNED it. I get a lot of flack for letting my toddler use my iPad, but it’s the world we live in. He’s learning different skills then I did when I was that age but it will be beneficial for him.

    Plus, since he used HIS money – he probably will respect it!

  5. paula schuck
    May 16, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    I bought DD one for her 12th birthday. It is a mixed blessing. She uses it a lot. I need to add some more controls on there actually now that I see yours. My daughter has a lot of games and apps. I don’t allow her to buy any though. All of them have to be cleared by me and I have her password although right now I forget what it is.Too many passwords here. Um but the point is – I think kids need to be smart and savvy about electronics so I have no real worries that way about iPads. She does use it for research sometimes. She also uses it for assignments sometimes. She really uses it for Siri. I have discovered this is a great means for a kid who seems to not really like holding a pencil, to be able to dictate her assignments and essays into a legible form. She uses Siri to write most of the essays and how to assignments she brings home whether they are french or english. That’s worth the money in my opinion. She takes it to school most days. She is usually responsible with it. Good for your son. My only issue on line right now with the kids is VINE. I hate that thing. Kids stumble into not great things there. So you have convinced me I need to tighten the controls.

  6. {Erica}EverythingMomandBaby
    May 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    We have pretty much the same rules although I like the helping out gets you more time.
    My brother bought my sons iPad. As with all technology it has it’s pro’s and con’s.
    Great tips. Thank you for taking the time.

  7. DeBalino
    May 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    SO wonderful that your little man made his first big purchase! He must be so proud of himself. But yes – those ground rules couldn’t be more clear. That’s awesome! My little one knows how to use our iPad but she only spends minutes on it because she’s so tiny and can easily get stuck on it. i will definitely take notes from your ground rules list – for when my smallie is a little older. Thank you!

  8. Kathleen Garber
    July 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    This IS a great resource thank you. I keep telling my kids to save their money for a bigger purchase. Maybe I should show them this post.

  9. leah
    July 18, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Good on you B. You are keeping his best m not happiest but safest) in mind. If he’s upset, oh well! You’re his Mom, not supposed to be best friend, in my opinion. I figure that if my kids are angry at my guidelines and rules, I’m probably doing the right thing!
    so? A followup post? Was he excited? Is he adhering to the guidelines? Is he sharing with little bean?

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