This is a question I get asked a lot, and to be honest, I don’t think there’s an easy answer. Every kid is different and every family has different thoughts and experiences. It’s a good question and it’s worth discussing with your partner before making the leap. Here are a few things to think about before plunking down your credit card:
1) Consider the age of the child, keeping in mind that age does not necessarily equate to maturity.
I personally think most kids under the age of 10 are not responsible enough to own an iPod touch. The fact that it’s an expensive item that can easily end up in the washing machine is one thing, but iPod ownership also opens up a can of worms in terms of unsupervised web surfing, and most kids really aren’t ready for it.
Consider what gadgets you already have in the house and use this as a bargaining chip. For example, a family iPad or tablet might delay the purchase for a while and be the ideal “trial run” for a young user. This can help you can assess whether your child is mature enough to handle their own device.
2) Don’t dismiss alternate gift ideas
Isn’t it a good idea to keep kids playing with toys for as long they can? They’re going to spend the rest of their lives glued to one screen or another, so why rush it? I think a lot of parents - not to mention grandparents - default to iPods as gifts because they aren’t aware of all the other great games and toys that are out there for kids today. There are so many wonderful things you can give kids that don’t fall into the high-tech category: skateboards, swings, books, bikes, sports gear, wagons, scooters games, puzzles. The list of “stuff” you can buy for kids is endless. I believe that giving a child an experience makes for longer-lasting memories: art lessons, soccer camp, a dozen movie passes, a holiday. Again, endless ideas! Ask yourself: if I give my child an iPod this year, what will she expect for her birthday next year?
3) Talk about the rules and set some limits right off the bat.
It’s easier to lay down the law at the outset and make sure everyone is on the same page regarding usage. Some good rules to consider:
- Putting clear limits on usage. One of the rules is our house is that no one (parents included!) is allowed to bring the device to the table while everyone is eating. My kids also have to put their devices away an hour before bedtime. They’re always supposed to be charging downstairs while they’re getting ready for bed. Doing one thing at a time is a big deal in our house. For example, no walking down the stairs while texting, no surfing the Internet while brushing your teeth. This rule is not just out of concern for their safety, I worry about the development of multi-tasking brains and how it erodes focus.
Some parents only let their kids use their devices for a certain amount of time every day, and some tie them to chores. I also think it’s important to talk about the times that iPod usage may be inappropriate. This is a tough one for kids to figure out on their own, and they really need guidance as each scenario comes up. For example, there’s another family at our place for a BBQ. Q: Where are the devices? Answer: they are put away, and not to be used when other people are visiting (at least at our house). Kids need to work on their conversation and socialization skills, and this is where it’s done.
- Then there’s the whole social media thing: texting, Twitter, Snapchat. If your child has an iPod, the desire to socialize online with friends will certainly follow. Stay one step ahead of the kids and educate yourself, and remember, it’s okay to tell your kid you need some time to think about it before saying yes or no.
If you DO buy an iPod for your child, make sure that you have the “find my iPod” app installed. (It might save everyone some stress if it ever gets misplaced.) Turn off geo-location services used by other apps and install the free Disconnect Kids app to block mobile tracking. It’s also a good idea to oversee the downloading of apps and music, this can be done relatively easily if all family members use the same Apple ID. It’s a good idea to have your child’s password too. (You can read a past post about that right here.)
Any other tips to share about introducing younger tweens to iPods and iPhones? I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Well, I have a daughter that
Well, I have a daughter that is extremely mature, as in eleven-going-on- 17!she is literally begging me for an iPod touch, and all her friends at school have them too. We have an iPad between us and she is very responsible with it and takes very good care of it. I looked into it, and I’m still deciding what to do, but this really helped, thanks!
I am a 12 year old who is
I am a 12 year old who is very responsible but I am not allowed to have any electronics. It’s not because of money because I am willing to pay for it. I have all A’s. Should I be able to get an Ipod touch?
Hi Madison – getting an
Hi Madison – getting an expensive and internet-connected piece of technology is a discussion you should have with your parents. If you’d like to share this article with them, that might help you have a positive talk with them.
i am a 11 year old and my
i am a 11 year old and my grandparents won’t let me have a ipod because of internet reasons but they wont even give it a try but i promised them that i would keep it down stairs but to me there is no point of getting a ipod if you have to keep it down stairs i don’t know what to do i saw a ipod for 100$ on esty but if they don’t let me get it a will probably be the only kid in my class without a hand held divice
Hi Bella, there are good
Hi Bella, there are good reasons for leaving your portable devices downstairs at night. It’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re watching videos or checking your social networks.
If your grandparents don’t see the value of your having a portable device, you can introduce them to the social networks that you use and show them how they can use those to share parts of your life they don’t usually get to see. You can also show them some of the youth and parent tipsheets on our site (http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/find-lesson?field_grade_value_i18n=All&type%5B%5D=tip_sheet) to help them understand how things work and to show that you’re going to use the device safely and responsibly.
But don’t get an iPod without telling them: if anything goes wrong, you might be too worried about them being mad to ask them for help.
Hi, I’m 11 years old, and I
Hi, I’m 11 years old, and I also get straight A’s. I don’t have an iPod either, but also really want one. I think you should definitely have one for safety reasons, and for other social reasons.
Hello, I am 11 years old and
Hello, I am 11 years old and I am almost 12 and i have begged my parents for an iPod, but my parents aren’t fully convinced I honestly think I deserve one because I get strait A’s and I am mature and responsible plus I don’t want to be the only one in school without a device, but they say no because they don’t want to me be wearing glasses or contact but I tell them I won’t use it all the time and if they think I dot i’ll let them take away my charger for a day, but they aren’t that convince as well that I am willing to pay for it with my money. Do you think i should be able to have an iPod?
yes i think u should… i am a
yes i think u should… i am a girl like u and i am just getting one but i am 13 .. i hope this helped u a little bit.. c:
i am 13 and i finally get an
i am 13 and i finally get an i pod touch it is pink and i am so happy i think if u want a i pod u should ask ur mom first and then ur dad … try places like amozon because it is cheaper tho … i hope this helped some how if people had questions c:
I gave it to my kid for his
I gave it to my kid for his Ninth bday!
Hi there I am 11 years old
Hi there I am 11 years old nearly 12 and would like an I pod. I asked my mother last night but I Don’t think they are fully convinced. I am willing to pay with my own money and get straight a’s like most of the people who are commenting. What should I do?
Check out this answer above
Check out this answer above (http://mediasmarts.ca/comment/2321#comment-2321) for our thoughts on how to talk to your parents about getting an iPod.
im twelve and the only on in
im twelve and the only on in y school who does not have one its ttaly unfair and i am resposible for keeping an animal aive so i should be aloud to get one riht
I think if you do plenty of
I think if you do plenty of choes and prove you diserve one she will event ually let you but dont get angry if she says no cause that would be bad
I just turned 12 about a week
I just turned 12 about a week ago and I just decided that I want an iPod Touch for Christmas. My mom is undecided, and my dad is saying “NO WAY!!! PORNOGRAPHY!!” and my mom doesn’t want to argue with my dad. First of all, do you think I should have one? I have straight A’s, and my parents think I’m responsible enough. Secondly, how could I convince my parents (mostly my dad) to get me an iPod touch???
It’s natural for parents to
It’s natural for parents to be concerned about the kinds of content kids can access through a portable device. You can direct your parents to the resources on our Parents section, particularly our tipsheets Talking To Your Kids About Pornography (http://mediasmarts.ca/tipsheet/talking-your-kids-about-pornography-—-tip-sheet) and Family Online Rules (http://mediasmarts.ca/tipsheet/family-online-rules-tip-sheet) as well as our tutorial Raising Ethical Kids For a Networked World (http://mediasmarts.ca/tutorial/raising-ethical-kids-networked-world ) to make them feel more confident about laying down rules and guidance that you’ll follow.
Hi, I am thirteen years of
Hi, I am thirteen years of age. I have an ipod touch and it sucks. My mum lets me go on it and I am responsible, I never post innapporiate stuff and If I have a book, I read the book instead of looking at my ipod. My dad however, he drives me insane. The moment he gets home he takes it from me. I never get to go on it. I hate it. I bought the ipod with my own money and I am sick of my parents taking it away from me.. I even ran away once for about 2 days or so because my dad accused me for knowing the restrictions for my ipod but I didnt! HE GROUNDED ME FOR SOMETHING HE ASSUMED.
Parents are often worried
Parents are often worried about letting kids use mobile devices because it’s hard for them to keep an eye on what you’re doing. You can try showing your parents some of the positive and creative things you do with your iPod to help them understand that you’re using it responsibly, and download our guide Your Connected Life (http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/your-connected-life-teen’s-guide-life-online) to show them so that they’re confident you know everything you need to make good decisions when you’re online.
Hi, I am 11 years old. I want
Hi, I am 11 years old. I want a ipod touch REALLY BADLY but my parents say that there is no use of getting a ipod touch. They say I will use it for games and social media and it would destroy my learning. I actually cry a lot for a ipod everyday because all my friends have one. My friends bring it to school everyday and I am just staring at them sadly. Yesterday I went to a birthday party and all my friends were making musical.lys and taking selfies on there ipods. My mom said when I am in grade 8 they will by me a iphone so there is no point of using a ipod for just 2 years, though, I still feel a little jealous and sad when I see all my friends with ipods. Well, it’s okay, at least my parents care about me and don’t want to destroy my learning. Lucky for the ones who have a ipod touch and their parents don’t mind. I wish I had parents like that!!!!!!!
Me personly would ask them to
Me personly would ask them to make a chart with chores and you might be able to get pocket money from them and u can save up to buy one
Hey I am 16 and my parents
Hey I am 16 and my parents wont let me get an iPod either… they say that they don’t want me to have unlimited internet connection. I told them that they could get the internet app taken off and I could use it just for games and music. Like I intended to do anyway. Is there anything you could tell me to say to help me get one? Thanks
Hi Kade, it may help persuade
Hi Kade, it may help persuade your parents if you offer to agree to rules about how you’ll use your device. Here’s a tipsheet you can give them on setting household Internet rules: http://mediasmarts.ca/sites/mediasmarts/files/pdfs/tipsheet/TipSheet_FamilyOnlineRules.pdf
I think at the age of ten you
I think at the age of ten you should get an iPod and when you go into secondary school you should get an iPhone.
You sound like a child mature
You sound like a child mature enough to have your own phone! Ask your parents why they wont give it to you, they must have a good reason for it. I would have thought you would have your own phone by now.
I have a iPod and now I have
I have a iPod and now I have to much technology because my parents showered me with electronic devices like a Kindle,ipad mini2 and I’ve always taken care of it that’s why I still have a lot of this and now I regret because my 11th birthday is coming up and I want a iPhone 6 but now I regret having a lot of technology being bought by my Dad and step mom what do I do?
I am 12 years old, I get all
I am 12 years old, I get all A’s, I clean the house, I am respectful, and do what I’m told. I have been asking for this for years and have given many good reasons on why I should have this, yet my parents don’t have any good reasons on why I shouldn’t have this and you because I said so. What should I do.
I am 11 years old and I can’t
I am 11 years old and I can’t have an iPod I really want one how will I convince my parents to get me one? I already do chores
Sam and Maria, check out our
Sam and Maria, check out our comments above for suggestions on how you can demonstrate you’re responsible enough for a portable device. Abigail, it’s great that you’re thinking about your technology use! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a vacation from tech one day a week (or even a half a day to start.) You can also try keeping a record of every time you turn on a screen device to help yourself be more aware of how often you’re using them.
I’m almost 14, and I don’t
I’m almost 14, and I don’t know whether or not I’m getting an iPod Touch for my birthday or not. I casually brought it up the other night and mentioned how it would be great to have a device that I could use for Prime Music. She asked me a couple questions, looked up iPod Touch on Amazon, then didn’t say anything more about it.
I actually really like the idea of leaving devices to charge downstairs before going to bed, I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to staying up late on the internet. If I get one, that would be awesome, if I don’t, that’s okay too.
Hi Abigail! It’s great that
Hi Abigail! It’s great that you take such good care if your electronics. I think you should ask yourself why you want an iPhone 6. Is it because all your friends have one? Is there a special feature on it that a device you already have doesn’t? Will you still be proud of it if you still use it when it is considered ‘outdated’ and not a ‘high tech’ device anymore? Most importantly, ask yourself if it’s a need or a want. An iPhone 6 is a very expensive device, and at 11, you may be better off with a lower end phone. In other words, if you want an iPhone 6 ONLY because you want the ‘phone’ part of it, you could get a cheaper phone that gets the job done. But in the end, it’s up to your stepmom and dad to decide. Hope I helped! :)
I am a 12-13 in a week boy.
I am a 12-13 in a week boy. My parents bought me an iPad last christmas and i love it. But it is not as portable as say an Ipod touch. I have already accepted that i will probably not get an iphone until i am in high school. But dont u think since i have already recived an ipad that an ipod touch that has the same features but a little more portable. i have enough money that i have been saving up for this purpose but i would really like one for my bday in a week. my parents asked me what i wanted and i told them an ipod. they just lauged and told be to be real. i told them i was serious and asked them wats wron. they said its not the price…its just…its just…and they never gave a reason. I am a “Highly gifted” kid which means i have a mentor and am working on math 4 grades ahead of my classmates. i get straight A+’s with extra credit in every class. i have good friends who are good influences and have never gotten in trouble at school. do u think i shoukd be able to have an ipod?
I was 6 when I got my first
I was 6 when I got my first device. I got the iPod touch 4. I still have it in a very almost perfectly good condition and I want to ask my mum is I can buy myself the iPod touch 5 I have enough money. I just don’t know how to bring the subject up.
Yes you should get an Ipod if
Yes you should get an Ipod if you are getting A’s i would even consider giving you a phone
I am 12 years old and an A+
I am 12 years old and an A+ student. My parents read the news alot and they always have me read articles about how kids are so irresponsible with electronics. I am super responsible, but my parents won’t let me get one! HELP!!!!
Hi Victoria, if your parents
Hi Victoria, if your parents don’t see the value of your having a portable device, try showing them some of the youth and parent tipsheets on our site (http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/find-lesson?field_grade_value_i18n=All&type%5B%5D=tip_sheet) to help them understand how things work and to show that you’re going to use the device safely and responsibly.
Yes! You should be allowed to
Yes! You should be allowed to have an iPod. I got my first iPod when I was in 5th grade. I had all A’s and was very responsible!
So, yeah, I’m thirteen.
So, yeah, I’m thirteen. Currently, I have a tablet but the problem here is that I want a device that fits in my hand and pocket. My tablet is cracked, I will admit, but I have nothing to protect it. I’m in the eighth grade and I currently have grades ranging from 80-98 percent and I’m a pretty good student. I keep begging my mom for an iPhone but she says no because “the strangers on the internet” and which she means pedophiles. I mean, understandable but on the other hand, I don’t talk to them. I’m usually looking at memes, watching youtube, or texting to friends. I decided to take it down a notch and ask for an iPod and she still thinks the same. Later, my friend who I’ve been talking to about the iPods and iPhones asks me if I’m interested in buying her old iPod 5 and I’m thinking like “yeah” and so I tell my mom about it and still nothing. I ask her the price and it’s like $50 dollars, so I’m like “ok, I can just earn it in two months or so” because my mom gives money for chores and so I’ve got that plan and my other friend wanted to give me $20 to help and so I can get it sort of quicker. This totally got off topic but should I be allowed to get one if I am gonna be the one buying it?
Hi Marcia, in the end it’s
Hi Marcia, in the end it’s your parents’ decision if you get an iPod or a phone, but you can help them feel more comfortable with the idea by pointing them to some of our parent resources, like our Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents: http://mediasmarts.ca/parents/digital-citizenship-guide-parents
I’m almost thirteen. I know
I’m almost thirteen. I know why I’m not allowed to get a phone. For my birthday I want a iPod touch. I’m a first honors student and and I always do my work. My twin brother always stays up super late on our Xbox. Is that why? I have told them I want one but they always say I’m not responsible enough and I would be on it 24/7. Why don’t they just put restrictions on my screen time. I’m the only kid in the seventh grade without a handheld device. HELP ME!
Dude, get it for her.
Dude, get it for her.
I think anyone above 10 yrs
I think anyone above 10 yrs old should be able to get an iPod touch.
I think 10 yrs above are old
I think 10 yrs above are old enough to get an iPod, but they should be reminded to be a responsible user and the games installed should be good for them and for their brain like puzzle games, not those brutal games.
Hi I just turnred 11 and I
Hi I just turnred 11 and I want iPod Touch . My parents will let me . Just tell your you just play music
I am 12 and i am doing the
I am 12 and i am doing the same thing i have the money and i am willing to pay for it myself. The first thing i would do is tell them there is no data plan or service plan. Then i would show them that you have the money and show them that you are responsible for it. To show them that you are responsible for 2 weeks with their permission take a fake phone or something and keep it in good shape and then they might trust you.
I really want an iPod touch
I really want an iPod touch for Christmas, but my parents are not letting me. I’m a responsible 12 yr old and have straight As! IDK why my parent won’t get me an IPod!!! Save me!!!
That’s between you and your
That’s between you and your parents
Your 16 and your parents won
Your 16 and your parents won’t let you get a I’ Pod! Wow! I’m ten and my parents won’t even come close to buying me an I’ Pod. It must be tough then. My sister got a phone for Christmas and they didn’t get me an I’ Pod (even though I asked for one) I would definitely tell them why you want one and the reason why you should get one! Thanks!
Hi Maria, this is Sophie and
Hi Maria, this is Sophie and I’m 10 years old but soon to be 11 and I think I’m very responsible to have an I’ Pod touch. But my parents wont let me get one I asked for one for Christmas but never got one. My sister Lilly got a phone but I personality think I’m way more responsible than her. She’s 14 years old and I think I’m way more responsible than her. I really want one to and I’ve really been begging for one. I hope you got one by now. Yes I do chores. If you don’t have one by now I would tell them why youible want one and tell them how responsible you think you are. Hope that answered your question.
HI my name is Sophie and I’m
HI my name is Sophie and I’m ten years old and I don’t have an I’ Pod. I’ve been begging my parents for one but they always say no. I think I should have one for safety reasons and to video chat with my cousins because they live far away from me. I do my chores and read a book every so often. My parents tell me to do chores and I do them without arguing. I read a book without them telling me to and I think I am very responsible. If you have anything suggestions please write back to me.
I totally get that. I have my
I totally get that. I have my moms old iphone 4 and she never lets me on it. I really want to buy a ipod touch but my mom won’t take me to the store and I don’t have a credit card to buy online. Plus my mom never listens to my side of the story
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