How to Enable Parental Controls on your iPhone


screen time, kids, moms

Editor’s Note: Happy Tuesday! All week long we’re talking about screens – from TV shows to tablets for kids and grownups of all ages. Love ’em or hate ’em, screens and screen time are a hot topic in parenting circles. Read on for one mom’s take, and check back here all week for more screen-related posts!


The one thing that can be scary about giving my child my iPhone (or iPad) is that if I walk into another room while she’s enjoying something I’ve selected, I might walk back into the room and she’s hit a million buttons and is now watching something that’s not age appropriate. Can I get an Amen?

Here’s how to set restrictions before handing over your Apple device:

I tend to shy away from letting my kids use my iPhone or our iPad. Self-doubt creeps in and I worry about what sort of childhood I am shaping for them. More than anything I want them to remember relationships and make memories living in reality. When screen time does come up, it’s usually because I need a break or need the kids to occupy themselves for a while.

Typically, I use screens as a babysitter. It goes something like this:

1. I needed them to be occupied

2. I turn on my iPhone/iPad and let them watch Curious George through the PBS Kids App or play TocaTeaParty (I recommend both)

3. They enjoy a show/I get my thing done

4. I feel guilty

We recently went to our fabulous Scottsdale Public Library in an effort to curb get in front of Summer-induced Cabin-Fever. We came home with a gob of books. I’m always trying to find non-Disney fairy and princess books and found Reader book about a fairy ballet. We read it over and over and over again, naturally. And there is a part where one of the fairies does a pirouette. To which Reagan asked “what is a pirouette?” Hmmm, how does one explain this?

I quickly got out my iPhone and we watched the Royal Ballet perform The Nutcracker and later, Swan Lake. All I can think is, how cool is it that we can invite the Royal Ballerinas into our living room to perform for my three year old! Since then, Reagan has changed how she dances around our house. She used to make pretty big and ungraceful movements and now she’s dancing more smoothly and even trying to dance on her toes. She learned to dance by watching professional ballerinas dance on YouTube! And, of course, I feel better know that the content is restricted (not as restricted as I’d like), but certainly better than allowing her to have free reign on the Internet.

Have you found any great ways to use technology apart from as a babysitter? Please share your ideas!