Smart Device Rules

Not so long ago I had a conversation with some Year 6 children I was teaching about the fact that one of the girls felt she “needed” a new phone.  I questioned the word “need” and we talked about the fact that I didn’t have a mobile at their age and that in fact I didn’t have a mobile until I was almost 19 years old.  A mobile which didn’t even send text messages never mind take photos or access the internet. Social Media? It didn’t even exist.

Of course my own children are being brought up in very different times.  Times where mobile phones, tablets and electrical entertainment gadgets are the norm.  Dave and I luckily have quite similar attitudes on our children’s use of these sorts of things and have been keen to limit them.  Our phones have always been just that; our phones – the kids would never even think to ask to play on them as it’s just never happened.  (Eee I sound mean don’t I?)  Ben got his own tablet for his 5th birthday and Chloe one for her 4th (mainly in preparation for our long journey to France!)  We decided it would be best for them have their own tablets so that we could make sure they were set up appropriately for them.

We are quite strict about the smart devices in our household.  Ben and Chloe each have their own tablets and a Digigo which they share.  Amy, at 2 years old, has nothing and nor do I think she should have.  The tablets have an password protected adult control so that the children can only access their own profiles and a range of films and apps which Dave has carefully chosen and downloaded for them.

We have a set of “rules” for their smart devices which include:

* No tablets after tea

* No tablets upstairs

* Screen time is time limited and when you’re time is up you give the device back straight away or lose your next turn

Despite having quite strict rules for our children and their use of technology, Dave and I are not exactly following the same code ourselves.  I hold my hands up to checking my phone while I’m eating, in bed or faffing about on it whilst he’s driving (which I know irritates him).

A photo posted by Colette B (@goingonanadventureblog) on Oct 26, 2015 at 2:30pm PDT

The guys at VTech would love to know what rules you have around smart devices in your house sharing your stories using the hashtag #DigiGoetiquette 



  1. Lynsey Buchanan
    November 21, 2015 / 3:38 am

    Homework must be done before any devices are played and only 1/2 hour to an hour if its the weekend and they can;t get out to play due to weather

  2. November 21, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    No devices until homework is done. We don't really use parental controls, as our eldest worked out how to get round these very quickly (he is now studying computer security at uni!). We confiscate them for bad behaviour – most effective punishment we've tried!

  3. November 21, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    Parental controls & time on devices is limited!

  4. Karen Lloyd
    November 21, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    My son is allowed half an hour after school and an hour at the weekend.

  5. November 22, 2015 / 10:24 am

    not at meal time, parental controls always on and not after 7pm

  6. November 22, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    I am quite strict with the time allowed on my tablet especially at meal times and not in the morning before school or they will never be ready x

  7. November 22, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    parental conrols on with weekly reports sent to email and no laptops/tablet is bedrooms

  8. November 22, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    My boys are still small but they aren't allowed anything in the morning and are only allowed them for half hour after tea in the evening. I do put youtube on the iPad whilst they have tea because my youngest such a lazy eater but he always eats when he's watching something. My eldest was the same but grew out of it so i'm not worried =)

    Samantha Mann

  9. November 22, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    No tech till after dinner has been eaten!

  10. November 23, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    They can only go on once a day for a max of an hour.

  11. November 23, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    No iPads until they have been earned by doing something to help around the house

  12. November 23, 2015 / 11:25 pm

    my little boy is 3 but he does love the ipad. i limit it so he only has it for about an hour in the afternoon. not during mealtimes or before bed

  13. November 24, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    time frames for using and not while eating

  14. Farhana
    November 24, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    No watching/playing on screens while eating

  15. November 24, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    My 5 year old is allowed to use our tablet to watch Netflix – max of 3 episodes (around 1 hour) a day and only after spellings & homework has been done 🙂 Other than that she doesn't use anything else at the moment.

  16. @LTabstar
    November 24, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    No devices at the dinner table and no screens at least an hour before bedtime.

  17. November 24, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Mine are allowed an hour on the iPad while I make food, they are still young yet so will no doubt want more time as they get older.

  18. November 24, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    Not at the dinner table
    Homework first
    must be left in a box in the hall on family movie nights

  19. November 24, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    Our router is set to only allow the kids on between certain times

  20. November 25, 2015 / 1:45 pm

    2 hours a night or two days with out, that's the rules

  21. Emily Phipps
    November 25, 2015 / 3:03 pm

    Nothing at the dinner table, it's time for eating and chatting – not glued to a smartphone or tablet!

  22. Kat Allinson
    November 25, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    Only during quiet time and only for an hour (She's 4)

  23. November 25, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    My main rule is always Homework first and never use at meal times #DigiGoetiquette

  24. November 25, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    We have limited time, but it also depends on what we doing, sometimes he gets extra time if I need to do some work or make phone calls.

  25. November 25, 2015 / 5:23 pm

    Just 1 hour a day.

  26. November 25, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    No devices at the dinner table or birthday parties!

  27. November 25, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    I ask my boys to complete their homework before using their tablets x

  28. November 25, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    Of at meal times and generally if they have been on a while i distract them with other things and they are not allowed any electrics at bed time.

  29. November 25, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    We have a 45 minute max per day time limit for any combination of phone, table, laptop, etc.

  30. November 26, 2015 / 6:39 am

    specific times in the day

  31. November 26, 2015 / 8:07 am

    We limit use and only allow educational games.

  32. November 26, 2015 / 9:50 am

    We make sure we don't use our laptops until our kids are in bed.

  33. November 26, 2015 / 11:03 am

    No technology after 9.30pm … it's often a broken rule!

  34. November 26, 2015 / 11:45 am

    Our rule is no technology after dinner, it makes my little one too excited before bed!

  35. November 26, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    They can be used it moderation. Max time is 2 hours per day!
    Fantastic Giveaway! I have really enjoyed reading this blog, thank you for sharing 🙂

  36. November 26, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    My children have set times on the ipad and no phones or anything at the dinner table

  37. November 26, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    headphones!!! I find myself shouting HEADPHONES a lot. The noise of simultaneous android devices drives me mental lol x

  38. November 26, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Our rule is no tech devices before school

    Kelly Ellen Hirst

  39. November 26, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Not whilst eating, though my son usually forgets this rule for some reason x

  40. Leanne Bell
    November 26, 2015 / 11:46 pm

    No pad before school – My Daughter takes forever to get ready as it is without any distractions x

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