Since you are reading this, there's a good chance your son or daughter broke a rule or made a bad choice. Digital grounding - the act of removing some or all technology - is one consequence you are considering to prevent the problematic behavior in the future. Given kids' attachment to technology such as smartphones and video games, digital grounding seems like a great way to get their attention.
When considering digital grounding, the key question to ask yourself is if the technology was involved in the problematic behavior. If there is a link between the problem and your response, then it is a clear consequence for your kid's behavior. If the problematic behavior is unrelated to the technology, then the digital grounding will feel more like punishment designed by you to cause your kid pain.
The first step is to decide what changes you are looking to make to the device. Do you want to turn it into a basic phone for emergencies only? Or, are you looking to remove an app or two that caused the problem?
Here are the steps to block an app and ensure they can't re-download it.
Now your kid won't be able to use the deleted app(s) on his or her phone without your permission
You may follow this approach to make your kid's iPhone into a device with basic phone functionality and utilities. Note this follows our Tech Journey Phase 2 guide for setting up a first phone.
The 'Downtime' feature on iPhones is typically used to promote restful nights by setting a period where the phone is disabled. We're going to use this feature to block all the apps on the phone without having to delete everything. This makes it quick and easy to start and end the digital grounding. Additionally, setting downtime to all day will lets us take advantage of the new Communications Limit feature.
In this step, we are choosing the apps your kid will have access to. He or she will only be able to use 'Allowed Apps' and will have to ask for permission to use apps under the 'Choose Apps' bar.
We suggest setting up the 'allow apps' as shown below. You may include addition tools such as meditation apps or apps related to activities. In the next step, we'll set Communication Limits for who can be called and texted.
In this step, you'll set the people your kid can call and text. This lets him or her use the phone for necessary communications.
Now the phone is a basic tool for communicating during the digital grounding period. When complete, simply undo the settings in this guide. If you need guidance for age-appropriate parental settings. See the entire Tech Journey for help.