Many parents feel like giving their kids a phone is like opening up Pandora’s box; I know I did. But after researching, I was surprised to learn how much functionality you can actually turn off.

  1. Set up Restrictions–this is one of Apple’s most important parental controls. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions.
  2. Create a Passcode that is different from your device passcode and one that your child will never guess. Make sure to store it in a safe place so–if you forget it, accessing restrictions will require intervention from Apple.
  3. Decide which apps you want to allow. Once these are turned off, they will be locked under Restrictions, so only you can make changes.
  4. Make sure AirDrop is turned off. It’s basically a file sharing features, so it’s best if it’s turned off so as to avoid a stranger sending your child unwanted information.
  5. Turn off Apple’s News (recommended for younger children).
  6. You can delete Mail by holding down the app until it giggles and selecting the “x.”
  7. If your child has an iPad without a cellular/data plan, then you can turn off texting. Go to Settings > Messages > toggle off iMessage > toggle off.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely turn off texting on devices with cellular service, so Apple, clearly this is an area where we need your help.

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