Turning your Smartphone into a Dumbphone (no data access)

For those of you with 5th graders in Bedford, weighing heavily the choice before you of getting your child a communication device. And as it gets more and more challenging to find and maintain flip phones (that don’t cost almost as much as a smart phone), here’s another option. Actually turn your smartphone into a dumbphone! DISCLAIMER: there is always the remote possibility that your child can find a way to hack into the phone and make it smart again. There will never be a silver bullet that will fix all of the frustrations associated with opening your child’s (and by default your own) world to constantly available technology. You will always need to have:

  • open dialogue

  • clear and established boundaries

  • commit to contracts

  • check in on how your child is abiding by the agreements you have made

  • talk with other parents, ask what their home rules are and make sure everyone is comfortable

Relying on technology to time-manage your child and their device will often be fraught with despair and opens doors to easily hack into other parental controls. Start off by only allowing access to the communication features and not the fun and hard to control features, until they are in at least 8th grade. This article can walk you through the process of dumbing down an i-phone step by step. (If you have an Android, you’ll have to find a third party app as there are no parental control features similar to what Apple products have)