My Son Bought His Own iPad
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.
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.