Setting Up Screen Time & Family Sharing on iPhones

One of the most frustrating issues that parents mention in our presentations is setting up the built in Screen Time control on an iPhone – or the Family Sharing feature. I had more than one parent tell me, “I didn’t sign up for this when I bought my child a device.” But, in reality they did. That is the rule of engagement when you give a device to a child. Protect them!

Added to the problem, is the fact that with each update to IOS, often brings with it an unannounced change in screens and the elimination of all the settings that you did on Screen Time prior to the update. Although Apple has promised to do better following their release of IOS 16.

Although I can’t help you with how IOS wipes out your settings, I can assist in finding some simple instructions on how to set up your child’s devices.

The infamous “How To” steps for any phone can be mystifying for many reasons. As mentioned, the biggest of which relates to the version of the IOS.  To the end, we searched for what we believed to be the best articles  and videos to mitigate you pulling more hair out of your head, or throwing the phone against the wall. As such, the following links relate to the most recent version of the iPhone’s IOS, including IOS 16, 16.1 or 16.1.2

My personal choice to help manage a child’s device is simply making the phone and the Apple ID your personal property. As such, you create the ID and allow them to use the phone. I also think simply using the iPhone’s Screen Time feature will more easily allow you to use parental controls such as Bark, Circle and others. But some people prefer to use the Family Sharing approach.

A key point to remember, once a child turns 13 they gain certain rights with Apple. Meaning that Apple believes that your child is the customer – not you. This quote is taken directly from Apple: “Once your child reaches the age of 13 (or equivalent minimum age depending on jurisdiction), they will be permitted to maintain their account without participating in Family Sharing.” This is not a problem with most families — but it can become an issue once the child wants certain freedoms. This is another reason for you to create the Apple ID in YOUR NAME therefore making it clear to your child that this is YOUR device on loan to them.

The following articles and links will provide guidance to setting up the Screen Time feature and/or setting up Family Sharing. But again, remember,  Apple often changes where certain features can be found and what they look like when the IOS is upgraded. ALWAYS check your child’s device to be certain that the settings that you created are still working properly.

Written Help For IOS Versions 6, 16.1 or 16.1.2  CLICK HERE  

Video Help for IOS Versions 16, 16.1 and 16.1.2: CLICK HERE