I’m a major technophile so I usually upgrade my iPhone nearly every year. When I do, I pass my old one off to my husband, who in-turn passes his old device down to one of the girls. Currently in our family we have an iPad, six iPhones, and five Kindle Fires.
Because my daughters and I have such similar taste in music (don’t judge), I decided it would be easier for us to share an iTunes account. That way when I bought music it would automatically download onto their devices.
Setting it up this way, I always know exactly what the girls download, because it is automatically added to my iPhone. And if it is something I don’t approve of, I can simply delete it from their device and we talk about why it is inappropriate.
That system has worked great for us, so when each of the girls received a Kindle Fire for Christmas, I decided we could all share my Amazon account. This helped me to also monitor what my daughters were downloading to their Kindles.
There turned out to be a fatal flaw in that plan. Yes, I receive a copy of every book/app they download, but they also receive copies of everything I download.
For the longest time this wasn’t an issue because I read mostly mysteries, comedies, adventure books, some young adult fiction (again, don’t judge) and an occasional historical fiction novel. Nothing I wouldn’t let my daughters read.
But that was then…
Last month a friend asked me if I went to see Fifty Shades Darker with my husband and told her no.
“I haven’t read the books. I saw the first movie and wasn’t impressed. I don’t have any desire to see the second one. “
Being the smart-ass that she is, she gifte me the 50 Shades Trilogy ebook. I downloaded it, read the first few chapters, laughed at the horrible writing, and promptly forgot about it.
Fast forward to today when….
“Eww! Mom, gross!!” screamed my 16 YO.
I ran downstairs expecting to see dog vomit on the floor or something.
But all I saw was my horrified daughter staring at her Kindle.
I took the device from her hand and looked at the screen.
I think we were both Fifty Shades of embarrassed.
Do you share your multimedia accounts with your kids?
It seems like everyone has a tablet, iPod, and/or smart phone now. To prevent what happened to me, from happening to you here are some tips to help you set up your account to share only content you select. (These instructions vary depending on what version Kindle Fire you have. Below are the instructions for the 5th Generation Kindle Fire.)
If you are sharing one device, it’s pretty easy. You simply set up a different profile for each person (you can share your content with one additional adult and up to four children). Every member of the household gets their own carousel, personal preferences, content, and apps, and their own settings for that content, such as furthest page read, notes and annotations, application data, progress in a game, and more.
If you have multiple Kindle devices and you would like to share your content you can set up a Family Library. Family Library lets you share Kindle books, apps and games, audio books, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library benefits, and Prime Video streaming across all your Amazon devices and Kindle reading apps. You choose what to share: share all of your Kindle books, apps, and audio books, or only share individual titles. Please note: In order to use Family Library to share your content with another adult in your household, you must join an Amazon Household together, using separate Amazon accounts.
Important tip: Selecting a content type will share all current and future purchases for that content type in the Family Library. If you want to select specific content to share in the Family Library you can do so through the Manage your Content and Devices page on Amazon.com.
Note: Adult profiles cannot be part of more than one household at a time. If you choose to separate accounts, both adults must wait 180 days to join a new household or link a new Amazon account to Family Library.
How to Set up Parental Controls on Your Kindle Fire
If you have younger children, you will want to set up the Parental Controls, if you haven’t already.
Once you’ve set a password, you can restrict one or more of the following:
- Web browsing
- The Email, Contacts, and Calendars apps
- The ability to purchase from the content stores on your device (for example, the Amazon Appstore)
- The ability to play Amazon Video and Prime Video
- Specific content types (for example, Books or Apps)
- Wireless connectivity
Now that you have your Parental Controls set up, you will want to restrict purchasing so you don’t get a surprise $358.42 in unauthorized charges from in-app and/or Amazon Appstore purchases. When my oldest was 4 she spent $50 on an online game, but she went into my purse, took out my debit card and put all the info in to purchase it. I was 90% mad and 10% impressed.
And once you have all the Parental Controls set up you will need to create a Kindle FreeTime profile for your child.
Once your child’s profile is ready for them to use, tap their profile icon to enter their profile.
From the child’s profile, tap a content library, for example, Books, and then tap a content title to open it. If the item is not already downloaded to your Kindle Fire, it will be installed when your device is connected to a wireless network.
A few notes:
A parental control password is needed to access settings or exit FreeTime. Swipe down from the top of the Kindle Fire screen to open Quick Settings, tap Parent Settings or Exit FreeTime, and then enter the password.
Only you can add or remove items in Kindle FreeTime, but your child can open and use the content you add.
Public library books or books borrowed from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library can be added to your child’s profile, but will be removed when the lending period expires.
And that is how you how to share your Kindle Fire contents without traumatizing your kids.