Many kids ask for an iPhone or an iPad for their birthdays or for Christmas and while some parents resist for a few years, the time will eventually roll around when it finally feels “right” (or they can’t think of any more excuses!). if that time is rapidly approaching for you, you’ll be grateful for these tips to make sure you don’t end up with a techno-disaster!
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Use a protective case
As a parent, you’ll know that kids tend to drop things, be it their favourite soft toy or their expensive (and fragile) iPad. Even the most careful children have mishaps, so while buying a good quality protective case won’t eliminate the chance of a visit to fixing store like Fix Apple Now, at least you won’t be there every week! You should also use a screen protector, as many cases don’t cover the screens, which can lead to scratches and cracks. A decent set of two or three screen protectors costs no more than $10, so it makes sense to get some in before you start.
Create an Apple ID for the birthday girl (or boy)
An iPad needs an Apple ID if the owner wants to download apps or other content; this ID is also necessary for iMessage, FaceTime and Find My Phone. Of course, your child can share yours, but this eventually leads to confusion so it’s best to start off on their own ID.
This ID can be controlled from the family laptop or PC, but everyone must remember to log out of their ID when they’re done.
Setting up the iPad
If you’re using the child’s own laptop to do the set-up, then you can simply leave them logged in. However, if you’re using a shared PC, you’ll need to remember not to sync all your phone and email contacts to their phone – your colleagues, for example…
Set up a passcode
Using a passcode is a good security measure – if your child loses their device, no-one will be able to get into it and find information. If they’re honest and want to get it back to you, they can contact the police for help.
Make it an easy code to remember, as resetting an iPad after forgetting the passcode can mean losing data, which is an almighty pain.
Set up Find My iPhone
If the worst happens and the iPad is lost or stolen, then you have a decent shot at getting it back if you install Find My iPhone. You can locate, control and lock it from home, or delete all your info to keep it safe from the thieves, too.
Install all your new apps
Kids need apps that are fun, educational and also safe. It’s up to you and your child to choose the fun and educational ones, but you should definitely install apps that monitor what they’re up to and also block inappropriate content. iOS has built-in mechanisms to let parents control and monitor the types of content their kids can get hold of.
Content restrictions can prevent the child from accessing mature content or from having unsupervised video chats. Video chat can be password-protected with a code that only you know so there’s no chance of your child chatting to someone you’d rather they didn’t.