Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Electronic Devices

I have a few questions about electronic devices.

This one in particular.
It's an iPod Touch 5th Generation

This model has:
internet access
instant messaging
Face time
And much more

  1. Would you let your child buy this (with their own money)?
  2. If so, what age would you let them?
  3. What rules would they have if you let them?


  1. Let's for a minute pretend that I liked Apple as a company so these questions will be relevant. (I don't have any ethical issues just I think their products are over-priced for no good reason.)

    1. If it was their own money and it was a well thought out purchase (not on a whim) I would let them.
    2. No earlier than age 13.
    3. Because the iPod Touch runs on wifi, I would either have the wifi password change based on behavior/chores (please complete these 3 tasks and school for the wifi password of the day) kind of a thing. OR I would have a check in process so that the iPod was with a parent during sleep time, school time and meal times.

    You seem (based on the blog) to have responsible kids and you have the advantage that they are with you more often than not so that makes me feel that they would use the technology responsibly and stick to the rules you set up. The one thing I would add is that I would force my child to factor a protective case into the cost because they break so easily and you still have littles who could do a lot of damage without meaning to.

  2. Our 17 year old bought one with her own money this last year. I have to admit that we regret allowing it. She didn't put it down until we changed the wifi password (but that wasn't her fault, lol). Everyone is going through a withdrawal period around here, lol.

    I would NOT recommend it for anyone younger than 16 and like I said, I regret letting my 17 yo who is generally very responsible. I just hated seeing her constantly looking at it. If they get something like this be prepared that they will likely forget everything else and like an addiction they will get surly when you tell them to put it away, unless you set firm boundaries from the very start.

    I would also see if your wifi has parental controls. Block sites you don't want them to visit, may I recommend blocking Tumblr (Blech).

    This of course all depends on your child and what you think he or she will do with it. I would take it very, very seriously.

  3. I once heard the phrase "no one ever regrets not getting their child the iPod,iPad,etc, they only regret getting it." Having said that, my 11 year old was given one by her cousin(I didn't know until the gift had been given). It was definitely a challenge to limit her use on the iPod. She is a good kid, the screens are just addictive.

  4. I feel similar to Madeline on this, I think 13 is reasonable, although I personally say that my daughter won't get a phone til she's driving age and needs one (we'll see as she gets older I suppose). I guess what mostly has me worried about something like that is the internet capabilities. I do think that parents these days are better equipped to know the dangers than when I was 13, but I vividly remember yahoo games and chat rooms and men trolling to get me as a young girl's info. And my parents didn't know. Thankfully I never was harmed, but that potential is there. So I think it would be just make sure you supervise and let your child know the dangers and everything in moderation.

  5. Our 18 yo just bought one, but because of issues we have had in the past I have blocked Safari and he can't use it for messaging or email. I have locked almost all features, and he has to ask me to unlock with the password to install any apps, approved by me. The problem with these devices is if they want to get into mischief they can, and you have to be several steps ahead of them, which is hard to do these days.

    Faith wants an iPod touch for Christmas, and if I agree the same rules will apply, so for the money she is getting very little, and for her she will have limits on how much time she can use it -- no more than and hour a day.

  6. I don't give my kids unrestricted internet access, especially on devices that can be used without anyone else's knowledge. All of our computers are in the public area and they have access to them in the public area, but any devices that have internet access and are used in private areas (like Kindles in bed) have their access revoked. If it were me, I would NOT allow my child to have an ipod touch, even with their own money, until they were quite adultish. The internet can be a dangerous place. My older children, though, are so used to not having it, they haven't asked. :-)

  7. Yes, in high school. BUT, I would recognize it had the full capabilities of a lap top. SO, they'd only be able to use it in common places- and I would have crazy restrictions on it.

  8. My kiddos get devices from their school....they are watched by anything they do from the school. I tell them that...eyes are watching...but more important are the eyes of God Our Lord in heaven is watching all the time. Anything and everything can be used for great good or great evil...or a little evil..ha. I waited till Zach and Jonah were 15 till they were allowed to have one. The other kids have to wait also. BUT each family is different and each kid is different. That is just what we do for ours.

  9. Hey! This is Miriam something you should know about the iPod touch this generation, is the16 GB does not come with a back camera. This can be very frustrating, if you do not just want to take a picture, of something facing you. However, the 32 gb fifth Generation does come with a back camera. If she does want a lots of apps and music on her iPod, She should probably get the 32 GB iPod. A great place to get on iPod is off of the Apple refurbished store. Every thing is in great condition, and is usually about $50 cheaper. I would love to be able to keep in touch with you guys a bit more by face timing! Miss you guys so much! Miriam

    1. Miriam, that was a really sweet email! You are so smart. Thank you for letting us know. We are actually encouraging her to buy new, since she has been saving for so long. We miss you too honey!

  10. Sigh. I just left a long message which I think was deleted because I put a dot com in it, even though I didn't type the whole url. I'll have to do a blog post, because that's essentially what I just wrote. :-)

    Covenant Eyes. Research that. And the answer is NO, don't open that can of worms at this age.

  11. My oldest child was 17 or 18; my youngest was 12. Times change and so does the mom!

  12. I hesitate to write this but maybe it will help.
    I strongly believe that our kids cannot be raised in a bubble, that we MUST equip them to venture out in the world. They must develop an electronics conscience, so to speak.

    My oldest kids, 11 and 9, have ipad minis. They were gifts from grandparents. We have strict rules, which evolve as they age and issues arise.
    1. You may never use in private. Always in view of mom or dad.
    2. They do not have email addresses set up.
    3. For now we visit the internet together. If it is something they want to read for a long time (for instance, my daughter is obsessed with owls and studies them on owl pages), they are not to click away and if anything looks odd, they must bring to us. We often watch khan academy videos on the tv at lunchtime.
    4. We have time limits on games, and the games must be approved. They do play Minecraft, but I generally set a timer.
    5. They can only listen to my iTunes account, that is the only one set up on the devices.
    6. No social networking. My husband and I don't like Facebook even for ourselves.
    7. We discuss,often, about how curiosity can lead us into trouble.
    We maybe have more rules, but I really can't state enough that we feel a great responsibility to train them to develop responsible skills and behavior. What if we said "never until 18" and then just give them the internet, unrestricted, with no context and no help? That scares me.
    There are some great apps that we use in homeschool. All apps are purchased through my account so I know exactly what is installed.

    So the short answer is yes, I would encourage the use of their own money, I would allow texting on a case by case basis and I would read all messages. (We text grandparents only). Age depends on the maturity of the child. Supervise everything. Talk about the bad things that come from bad choices.

  13. For safety reasons, the most elaborate one in our house would by iPod Nano 7. No wifi access. At this point, that is the limit (as far as iPod anything goes) that kids in our house can have due to internet access.

  14. How ironic that you posted this this week. I just read this article over at lifesite news. Might shed some light on the issue for you.

    At our house-- the only internet linked devices (our computers and smart TV) are in public areas of the house and they belong to the family- no one individual.

    My 16 just bought her first cell phone a few weeks ago and we made her get an old fashioned flip phone that only allows phone calls. I just figure no one NEEDS an IPOD (or the like) and why hand our children something that will most likely just create problems in their life (even if the only problem is spending too much time in front of a screen, or being distracted by it when they should be doing other things....)?

  15. For their 12th birthdays, my kids were given permission and seed money to buy an mp3 player. Seems so long ago now! For phones, they have the simplest Tracfone possible. If the phone comes with a camera, I make it unusable.

    My oldest (now almost 21) was allowed to buy a used 3rd gen. iPod Touch at 17. He wasn't allowed wifi at home. I was allowed to check on it as I felt I needed. I set up the safety settings. I have to okay all apps purchased, restrictions similar to what others have already shared.

    My second oldest (just turned 18) bought my old 4th gen iPod touch from me. Same rules as his brother. He wanted it for a couple of games and music. He left it in his pants pocket when he did laundry. It was an expensive lesson. He recently bought his brother's old 3rd gen.--knowing it might not last long. Same rules. Sadly, it has conked out. Cheaper lesson, still upsetting. He has a job and wants to buy an iPod 5th gen. I will not allow that. For family reasons. (I have three kids younger than him, I set the bar low to start knowing that technology and the world will advance faster and faster).

    Anyway. It's all about the rules you set as parents. Kids will do what they're allowed. If you raise kids with rules, guidelines and expectations chances are they'll stumble but stay on the path.You know your kids better than anyone.

    Good luck!

    PS--I just a beautiful blue iPod 5g. I use it primarily to keep track of the family schedule and medical stuff for my youngest. I agonized over the purchase for a long time. SO MUCH MONEY! It's beyond helpful to me and fills in where my brain stops.

  16. Have you prayed about it? God is so good, He'll help you if you ask. He knows your family the best.

    Our 14 year old son really wants one, as some of his friends have iPods, but my husband and I feel it's too early.

    I definitely think it should happen before they leave the house, as they can have freedom within limits and they can be 'checked' if they are wasting time or worse. They can develop some good habits (time limits etc.) before they leave.

    As my good friend Cheri says, "I should value everything on whether or not it helps me get to Heaven."

    God bless you in your decision. You are a good mom to ask the question!

  17. Hey Jamie- sorry I haven't been around lately, my long lost bio-father found me.....ya, crazy times.

    Anyhow, Sean and I are huge Apple users. We both use our iPad Air 24/7. I use mine for homeschooling, and let me tell you, it has made an otherwise painful school year a little more bearable. There are great educational apps and amazing reading apps as well. We currently use Epic.

    Now as for allowing the kids to use electronic devices, they all have a crappy Android tablet that is pretty much locked down. (Unless it's a kids website, they can't go to it.) We have strict rules, and only allow them to use the tablets for an hour or so one or two evenings per week. We feel its important that the kids know how to use these devices, because let's face it, they are taking over the This is just my opinion, every family is different, but if you do decide to allow your kid to buy one, make sure you put high parental settings on it! Have a great Sunday, God Bless

  18. Thank you ladies, so very much! You were all very helpful! We have decided that we are going to wait on allowing our 12 year old to purchase this particular item. I really liked the suggestions, especially the keeping it overnight from the child. Also, being around while they use it. So many good suggestions. Thank you, we really had no idea what people were doing. This was so helpful. God bless you all.


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