This post is sponsored by Gumtree.
In March this year we were out for dinner for my mum’s birthday. 15-month-old Miss Olivia was sitting in the highchair at the end of the table when I made the (expensive) mistake of leaving my iPhone within her reach. Rookie error.
No sooner had I turned around from my conversation with my sister to see Olivia holding the phone, than it slipped from her hands and onto the floor. I have dropped my phone many many times but as it hit the floor this time I knew things were bad. Sure enough she had cracked my entire screen and it cost me $100 to fix it the next day.
Since then I have been a lot more careful with where I leave my phone and the access I give Olivia. I can’t afford to keep fixing screens! Here are a few things you can do to protect your devices from your kids.
Get a good case
There are so many different cases on the market so look for one that is heavy duty/shatter proof/kid proof. These cases can be quite bulky so try and find one that is easy enough for you to take off so you aren’t hindered while using it on the couch at night!
Anyone with a child who has been using a device for awhile now might struggle with this one but if you have a younger child who hasn’t had much exposure, listen to these words! Set limits for when and how long your child can use a device but also where they can use it. Using a device in a pram can be tempting but there is quite a height to drop from. Whatever limits you set, stick to them!
Hide your devices up high
The number of times I have left my iPad in my bag only to find Olivia walking towards me with it. Recently I have started hiding it in a drawer that Olivia can’t access. I make sure she isn’t around when I put it away so she doesn’t try and get to it. Sometimes it is a case of out of sight, out of mind.
Role model good screen habits
Is it any wonder that our kids are screen obsessed when we are too? Make sure your kids don’t see you with a screen in your hand all the time. Put your phones away at dinner time, leave them in your bag at the park and keep them in a drawer while playing with the kids. It got to a point where Olivia was taking my phone from my hands and saying “no” when I realised I needed to change something.
Set a passcode
Not having a passcode on your device is like leaving your front door open for robbers to enter as they please. It doesn’t take long for kids to learn how to swipe left and right and once they do, your device is theirs for the taking. Set a passcode and if you have older kids change it regularly.
Use Guided Access
Guided Access allows you to effectively “lock” your kids into an app so they can move around with that app but not exit from it. On Apple devices go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access. Once it is on you can also set a passcode unique to Guided Access. To activate Guided Access within an app, triple click the home button and then press “start” when prompted. To end, trip click the home button, enter your passcode when prompted and then press “end”. We use this feature every time Olivia has one of our phones.
Don’t give it to them in the first place
I can almost hear your cynical laughter through my computer screen! If it’s not too late for you then delay, delay, delay. Don’t give your kids your device in the first place. Once they get a taste for it, the addiction sets in hard…
And if your kids don’t destroy your phone you can use the Gumtree phone price checker to find your resale value. It’s actually a pretty cool tool. You can check the average sale price for every common smart phone as well as a slider which indicates the maximum and minimum prices your model is selling for plus the number of phones of that model currently for sale.
What tricks do you use to protect your devices from your kids? Have they ever smashed one of your screens?
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