Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I gave my five-year-old an iPhone ... but let me explain


When I upgraded to my iPhone 6 earlier this year, I gave my five-year-old my old iPhone 4S … and I’ve been feeling judged about it ever since.

Every time my son announces his new toy in public, I feel like interjecting with “Um, hi, I am NOT that parent! Can I explain?” I was NOT going to be the parent that would let my child have a freaking iPhone in elementary school. I’m still not, I swear. Kind of.

Yes, he has my old iPhone, but there’s a list of rules longer than the terms and conditions of iOS 9. For example, no, we don’t pay for a cellular plan. That means he can’t make any phone calls — except 9-1-1, because I think that works on all phones even if they don’t have service.

We also don’t pay for data, of course, so his “phone” can only access the internet here at home on the WiFi. (If it’s not usable as a phone, can you really call it an iPhone? It’s really a glorified iPod.)

I have parental controls activated so he can’t download anything — not even free or educational apps — without me approving the transaction. He also can’t access any websites except PBS and other extremely G-rated content.

So what does he use it for? ...

Continue reading in my parenting column, "The Mom Scene" ...

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