Parenting & Family

Smartphone at what age?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 21st, 2017 4:02 pm
[OP]
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Oct 15, 2017
26 posts
16 upvotes
Canada

Smartphone at what age?

At what age did you allow your kid to have a smartphone (including text, talk and data)?
What sort of restrictions did you put on their smartphone use?

Looking for advice before opening Pandora's box.
25 replies
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Aug 11, 2008
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Just allowed our 13-year-old to have one. Reason being that she goes out on her own with friends and often stays after school for various things. Restrictions are that she can not have it after 8pm. (goes in my office on my desk). She has to keep grades up. She has to do her chores daily. I have the password. I can revoke the device at any time for any reason. I am seriously considering a nanny type app to assist my wife and me in monitoring what she does with it. However, also trying to allow her some freedom and trust building.
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Jun 8, 2008
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My kids are 12 and 14, they have text and talk but neither have data plans. We have a pay as you go plan for them each, costs us around $100 a year. If they want data, then they can go earn enough money to pay for it :)
They've had them for a few years, got them when they started walking home from school on their own. We don't have a home phone.
Restrictions are that I have their passwords, I will and do check what they're up to (on occasion). Some apps are a no-go (Sarahah for example), had to wait until 12 to get an Instagram account ... they can't buy any apps on them.
No cell phones in their rooms at night, they charge them downstairs. We've taken phones away for a week or so when this rule has been abused.
It IS a Pandora's box, one I figured that would get opened eventually but we opted to open it so that they would be able to reach us if need be. So far, its been okay. Its pretty cheap for us mainly because neither have data plans. Their phones are in the $100-150 range - they're on their second phones already (1 lost, 1 shattered and broken beyond repair).
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Aug 22, 2011
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At your sole discretion OP.
My kid is still young, so no need for a phone yet; but does have an LTE Ipad.
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Aug 16, 2010
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My kid is about to turn 12 and does not yet have a phone., though he's had an iPad for years. We'll probably give in and set him up with a basic phone when he's 13 or so. Talk and Text, though I don't really want data - wifi should be enough. It's more to encourage him not to have his nose in the phone when he's outside, though I know that's probably an uphill battle.
Last edited by DiceMan on Nov 6th, 2017 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jan 2, 2015
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We allowed our oldest to have an old smartphone when she was about 10. We felt it was a little early, but she is rather introverted, so it was a good way for her to communicate. At first it was just on wifi, so no data, but she could communicate with me if she was at home and I was out. There were a ton 9f rules at first, and still are. We added a data plan, when the school bus lost her one too many times, That was our deciding factor when the transportation system drove her to the wrong area and tried to drop her off, drove off without her sister, and a few other things. At that time, we added her to our family data plan. We have a special plan where it’s only $10 more a month and she shares our data.

We have a lot of restrictions, such as I have access to all passwords, things cannot be downloaded until a request is approved by myself or spouse, we monitor data, all text, no Snapchat, Twitter, or anything like that. It is primarily for safety, so she is expected to carry with her when out. However, she forgot (again) today, so when she gets home today for. School. She will find that her phone is gone (put away in m6 room). She will have to explain and earn back her phone. Because she no longer has it, it means she will have lost her freedom of being able to stay home by herself, or hanging out with her friends until I feel she remembers wha5 her phone is for. She will not be able t9 use it for her homework, and definately not games or music. She is almost 12.

My youngest had a phone a little earlier because she also got lost on the school bus. She is 8. Her phone is s9 basic that it’s only for communications. She has so little memory that it allows one app.

On both their phones I can locate them using google maps and can text them
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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May 28, 2012
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Our first born got a cell phone when she started driving, just a basic phone with no data. The other two got phones a little bit earlier but not by much. I never put any other restrictions regarding use but they were pretty responsible in that way.
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Sep 19, 2013
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i got my 1st phone when i was 22 and it wasnt even a smart one. i wanted to hold my son to the same standards, but my wife wouldnt take it. so on my son's last bday, we got him a smartphone. i still dont approve that a 5yo should have a smartphone. but i couldnt argue when i saw that most of his playdates have them too. i would blame the parents. for our son, we just make sure that he only uses it for educational purposes (numbers, etc) and sometimes music.

nevertheless, its not a very expensive one. just mid-range one from Fisher Price. it doesnt have videos, but plays music well. also numbers from 1 to 10. i will stick to Fisher price models till he is about 18, then switch to Apple or Samsung.
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amitdi wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 1:36 pm
i will stick to Fisher price models till he is about 18, then switch to Apple or Samsung.
May the force be with you my friend.
Last edited by wirebound on Nov 10th, 2017 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sep 19, 2013
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Macx2mommy wrote:
Nov 6th, 2017 4:57 pm
My youngest had a phone a little earlier because she also got lost on the school bus. She is 8. Her phone is s9 basic that it’s only for communications. She has so little memory that it allows one app.
Its difficult to keep up what things you are talking about the daughter and what things you are talking about the phone...Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
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Jan 2, 2015
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amitdi wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 1:36 pm
i got my 1st phone when i was 22 and it wasnt even a smart one. i wanted to hold my son to the same standards, but my wife wouldnt take it. so on my son's last bday, we got him a smartphone. i still dont approve that a 5yo should have a smartphone. but i couldnt argue when i saw that most of his playdates have them too. i would blame the parents. for our son, we just make sure that he only uses it for educational purposes (numbers, etc) and sometimes music.

nevertheless, its not a very expensive one. just mid-range one from Fisher Price. it doesnt have videos, but plays music well. also numbers from 1 to 10. i will stick to Fisher price models till he is about 18, then switch to Apple or Samsung.

Good like giving any kid something Fisher price after about 11. We tried to keep our kids from tech as long.p as possible, and 8 hated play dates with tech. We still have a rule no tech (tv, computers video games, , phones) except music in the back ground at play dates. The kids are their to interact.

When we host other kids, if I know they have phones, i ask them to put it away and it only gets taken out if they need to communicate with their parents. I get quite the look, and the kids whisper to my kids about how strict I am.
Face With Tears Of Joy

amitdi wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 2:30 pm
Its difficult to keep up what things you are talking about the daughter and what things you are talking about the phone...Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

Lol... meant the phone. My kids have great memories.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Sr. Member
Jan 16, 2007
622 posts
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It all depends on the maturity/self control of your kid cause you're basically giving him/her a highly addictive substance.

I made the mistake of giving an IPod Touch early on and now I'm paying the price.

I can barely keep myself from holding my phone 24/7. How can a kid resist.
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Nov 28, 2016
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When they get a job and pay for it themselves

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