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Topic: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone? (Read 329 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • SkepticTank
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Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/technology/personaltech/whats-the-right-age-to-give-a-child-a-smartphone.html?_r=0

Tricky subject.  Even more so in my case because of my daughter's disability plus divorced mom & dad, so neither of us wants to spend a couple hundred bucks on something that she'll take to the other parent's house.

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #1
Quote from: link
The topic is being increasingly debated as children get smartphones at an ever younger age. On average, children are getting their first smartphones around age 10, according to the research firm Influence Central, down from age 12 in 2012. For some children, smartphone ownership starts even sooner -- including second graders as young as 7, according to internet safety experts.
Wow that's young.

I don't have kids but my nieces and nephews typically get the parents old phone without a data plan.

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #2
I don't know about smartphones, but I know a couple of kids about 10 or so with ipads. Its whether you want them to be able to be called, in which case something really basic (I could read TR on a £20 nokia I bought about 5 years ago) might do. Or if you want to keep them entertained, surfing with parental guidance, etc, in which case a tablet might be better.
Why do I bother?

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #3
They were in 7th grade, no data, and we had them leave the phones in a bucket when they walked in the door and pick them up when they walked out. Almost entirely a result of sports and extracurricular activities where we needed coordination with parents.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RAFH
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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #4
I'd think it would depend a lot on the kid and on the environment and subject to significant parental monitoring.

A smart phone can be a great resource a well as a safety item, but it can also be a major distraction and a serious annoyance.

I don't think one can set an age and that's it for all kids in all circumstances.
Are we there yet?

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #5
I'll be getting one for my eldest kid next year; he'll just have turned eleven.  The reason he'll be getting one is for his and his sister's safety as they will start making their own way home from school each day instead of going to after school care. 

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #6
Yep. There's a value for sure. In my experience, the critical piece was making sure they didn't have access in their rooms unsupervised. Ymmv.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • SkepticTank
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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #7
I'd think it would depend a lot on the kid and on the environment and subject to significant parental monitoring.

A smart phone can be a great resource a well as a safety item, but it can also be a major distraction and a serious annoyance.

I don't think one can set an age and that's it for all kids in all circumstances.

Agreed 100%, which makes for an interesting conversation.

  • Faid
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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #8
A colleague of mine took his 9- and 11-year old kids to Istanbul. In their first night he took them to see the Bosphorus bridge at night, and he told me it was a wonderful sight with all the lights and the market signs in the distance and illuminated cruise ships sailing by. Plus there was a band playing tadtitional songs in the street, and people were actually dancing.
His kids barely looked at it all, They were completely lost in their phones and iPads, browsing or playing facebook games.

So yeah. I'm not buying my daughter anything until she's a teenager.
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

  • Brother Daniel
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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #9
There aren't any smartphones in my house.

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #10
Yeah. I don't think there really were 'smart' phones when my kids were little but if there were, we certainly didn't consider them.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #11
A colleague of mine took his 9- and 11-year old kids to Istanbul. In their first night he took them to see the Bosphorus bridge at night, and he told me it was a wonderful sight with all the lights and the market signs in the distance and illuminated cruise ships sailing by. Plus there was a band playing tadtitional songs in the street, and people were actually dancing.
His kids barely looked at it all, They were completely lost in their phones and iPads, browsing or playing facebook games.

So yeah. I'm not buying my daughter anything until she's a teenager.

Is your daughter the same as those two kids? Should she be judged by their behavior?

Would those two kids have paid more attention if they hadn't had the phones and ipads?

If the father was disappointed, why didn't he suggest (or more strongly encourage) the kids pay attention?

My grandkids, girl 10 and boy 7, I don't know, not that I'll have any significant say in the matter. The girl, I think she'd be responsible with a smart phone. She's just that way. The boy, I'm not so sure, and he's just that way. They're both smart, they both do good in school, but she's more responsible, perhaps it's her extra three years, and he's more easily distracted. They play on their parents' phones all the time but with limits set by their parents. Ditto for the ipad tablet and the laptops. And the same goes for TV time.

I dunno, glad it's not my decision, though if asked for my opinion, I'd go with the girl having one in a year or two, and the boy as well when he's 11 or 12. But with clear and specific limits on their usage and sanctions if their grades degrade or their behavior becomes obnoxious.


Are we there yet?

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #12
I would give them an old talking can phone at age 10 and say that they get to "upgrade" every year to some new model in chronological order (dial phone, push button phone, old style cell phone brick from the 80's, Nokia candy bar, Nextel push-to-talk flip phone, etc., etc.)

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #13
10???

I had the tin cans and string model when I was 5 or 6.

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #14
10???

I had the tin cans and string model when I was 5 or 6.
That was pretty high-tech back then.

  • MikeS
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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #15

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #16
My nieces got flip phones with no internet when they were around 11, and smart phones around 15 or 16.

I think a lot depends on you knowing your kid. Those two were more likely to have their noses in a book when being shown the sights somewhere, even though they had smartphones to play with.

  • Old Dan
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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #17
My wee ones done had cellphones 'round age 8-10, as soon as they got old enough to play sports or go out with friends, and needed a way fer ME to reach them, or fer them to call me fer a ride home.

Some of yall may remember 'round 2007, when I done got alla them phones shut off, 'cause I turned poor.

Now, my wee ones aint wee no more. The older one's almost 21 and aint got no phone whatsoever, the young one's 19 and in college, we done gave her a Windows phone last year, but it broke, and a friend gave her an old iPhone 3. It works well enough fer Snapchat.

My older one uses my cellphone to play Pokemon Go, so now he sees the benefit of havin his own smartphone. Kid just needs to get a fulltime job to afford it.

real ETA: the whole point of my post here, yall, is that when I gave my kids cellphones at a young age, it was fer MY convenience and MY needs. It was so I could reach them. We don't ring a cowbell from the back porch like my crazy ol Maw used to do when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. The kids had the phones so's they could have their freedom.
  • Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 06:25:54 AM by Old Dan

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #18

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #19
Part time, I nanny for 3 kids.  There are 2 boys ages 4 & 7.  When we get home, the first thing that they want to do is to go on the iPads, and if they can't do that, then they like to grab the phones around the house that have access to wifi.  I try to steer them clear of this the best I can.  Normally my go to response is saying that your parents aren't allowing it tonight.. so, why don't you play in the backyard?  But that's a last resort option for them.

I asked the oldest what is favourite activity was, in general.  He responded "going on the iPad".  We've played a game where I say, would you rather be on a beach, swimming, or would you rather play on the iPad, etc.  Always, it's the iPad.

My niece also has one - she's not as bad as the boys I babysit.  She also has a phone that she uses to notify my sister when she is leaving for school, and when she gets home from school.

So in that sense - phones are great for kids who are starting to get more responsibility.

But - smart phones, and having access to games.  Not so much.  It honestly becomes an obsession for them.

Best to just keep it as a simple phone, and that's it!




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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #20
Just wait until they discover Facebook and texting.  They will be lost forever.   :sadcheer:

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Re: Parents, what age do you give your kid a smartphone?
Reply #21
I guess for most of them its the equivalent of going on the C64, or the Nintendo when we were young, especially with regards to gaming. As long as they're still doing their homework, etc I think its ok. You just have to set ground-rules like knowing what videos they're watching, what games they're playing, etc.

I definitely agree with Old Dan regarding phones being for the convenience of the parents- we didn't have cheap mobiles when I was a kid, but we did have a card that I could use the number on in a payphone to contact them if I was out late and needed picking up (working late at school, etc).

I guess with smartphones and iPads I'd start them off with a cheap laptop that I can lock down the security settings on- that way you avoid the "nose in an iPad rather than looking at the sights" problem.
Why do I bother?