I went back to work full-time, my husband also works full-time, our older kids ride buses to and from school. I feel like our family is in a constant state of motion. I recognize the kids are growing up – but trying to keep up with it all has been quite humorous. Trying to find some sanity (and know where are kids are or need to be when) we quickly realized that it maybe time to get the kids phones. The kids have had cell phones in the past, but needless to say, each time they’ve lost the phone or it ended up broken. I know what you could possibly be thinking right now – Did I read the title right? This girl is saying her kids are always losing or breaking their phones – why the HELL would you buy them an iPhone? You are right, this is exactly why we’ve never bought them iPhones in the past.
Save Your Old iPhone To Your Kid
We decided to pass two of our old iPhone 5 phone down to our 12 and 10-year old. They had been sitting in a drawer and figured if we weren’t going to sell them, might as well put them to use and save the money from buying another phone. We always use Otterbox Defender cases, so the iPhones were in good condition.
We did end up replacing both batteries (which now makes me super jealous of their 8+ hour battery life) with after market iPhone 5 batteries that cost us under $20 each.
Here’s the real kicker on why we decided to give to our kids our old iPhones. Price. I know I feel like I am always paying a premium for using an iPhone, but we were surprised when we inquired about how much to add these onto our phone line at Verizon – it was $20 each. This included data, unlimited messaging – $20, that’s it. Sign us up.
Apparently, bringing your own device is the way to do it – especially if you are adding on a phone for a kid.
4 Reasons to Give Your Kid an iPhone
If you are thinking about giving your kid an iPhone, here are 4 reasons why it’s a good idea:
1. FIND MY IPHONE
I’ve mentioned this before, you must use Find My iPhone. It is by far my favorite feature on the iPhone. You can track your kids whereabouts, track down missing phones, get your kids’ attention by playing a noise of their phone.
We’ve only had one instance of a lost iPhone, but thanks for Find My iPhone, it was just buried in between our car’s seat. Read our post on using Find My iPhone.
2. FAMILY APP SHARING
Apple’s family app account is genius. Basically, rather than every family member having their own Apple ID’s with credit cards attached to each, you all share an account – BUT you each get your own Apple ID. This has been a God send – we can all share apps – and my favorite part? The kids have to ask for approval for any app downloads.
Here is how the gist of how Apple Family App Sharing works – in Apple’s words, not mine:
With Family Sharing, family members get immediate access to each others music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps, and can download them to their own devices any time they like.*
And if you are like me and WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE * MEANS:
*Not all content and content types are available in all countries. To share purchased content, all family members must use the same iTunes Store country or region. Music, movies, TV shows, and books can be downloaded on up to 10 devices per account, five of which can be computers. Apps can be downloaded to any devices the family member owns or controls.
Family Sharing requires a personal Apple ID signed in to iCloud and iTunes. iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are required to set up or join a Family Sharing group and are recommended for full functionality. Not all content is eligible for Family Sharing. Content can be hidden by family members; hidden content is not available for download. Content downloaded from family members or acquired via redemption codes is not subject to Ask to Buy.
We wrote more about this in Technology Limits with Teens post.
I will say, we have kept the games to a minimal on their phones and the only social network i’ve approved is Instagram with a private account.
3. SHARING CABLES
My husband moved from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy. That tragic day I no longer was able to stalk him on FIND MY IPHONE (I know, it sounds creepy but it really comes in handy knowing what time he will be home to have dinner ready) and it was nice having additional chargers laying around.
Our house is kind of pathetic when it comes to chargers. We have 1 area setup as a charging station which now has 3 lightning cables coming out of it. And it never fails, someone (okay, me.) takes a cord away – well good news – there is still 2 cables left. It’s the little things in life, people.
We now buy Apple lightning cables in bulk – but off-brand. Here is the brand of lightning cable that we have had the best luck with.
4. SHARED CALENDARS
Gone are the days of our calendar white board that hangs in the laundry room (that I could never remember to update!) We now all have iPhones. Anytime Z has tutoring or needs to stay after for school – she puts it on the calendar. This won’t work for every child, but hey it works fro 50% of mine and for that I am thankful.
But What About Screen Time?
Oh screen time. I know, buy your kid an iPhone and he will end up like his mom – buried on the iPhone at all times. While yes, my daughter (12) – has a social life that revolves around her phone, I haven’t felt like my kids are always on their phone. My fear that getting the phones would be they would constantly have their heads buried, which hasn’t been the case. My daughter does homework with her friends via Facetime..
Read more on Screen Time
While an obvious use of the iPhone would be the alarm – we are still holding strong with the no screens in the bedroom rule. Each night, as we are settling everyone to bed – we tell the kids to make sure their phones are plugged in for the night.
Something I will say, make sure you buy an Otterbox Defender if you want the phone to stay in good condition. While yes, they are pricey, the good news is on older iPhones – they are more affordable ($15-$20.)
If you are considering getting your kid a phone, and I would say – if they were somewhat responsible (10 or older) – definitely consider an iPhone, especially if you an iPhone family (and have one to pass down!)
Mom to 4 kids, Molly aka Digital Mom is the blogger-in-chief here at digitalmomblog.com. Talking technology and mom life, Molly shares the realities of parents digital kids.