Parenting & Family

Smartphone at what age?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 9th, 2018 5:15 am
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
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In addition to the age, I guess it also matters how much of a sacrifice you are willing to do as a parent. If you want kids to reduce their smartphone usage, try to reduce yours as well. Use your phone as little as possible when in front of them. Set an example. Try to distract and engage kids in other activities.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
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As I may have mentioned before, you can use apps like mypact to limit their access. You decide when apps are on or off...the apps will actually disappear from the screen.

Our 14 year old is the only one who has a phone and tablet of his own. He gets 2 hours a day on the weekend. During the week he can get an hour a day, once he shows he has completed the required tasks we have for him (i.e. dishes, room, laundry). ..we get him to send a picture. Then we can remotely activate.
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Jun 24, 2006
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nalababe wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 11:36 am
As I may have mentioned before, you can use apps like mypact to limit their access. You decide when apps are on or off...the apps will actually disappear from the screen.

Our 14 year old is the only one who has a phone and tablet of his own. He gets 2 hours a day on the weekend. During the week he can get an hour a day, once he shows he has completed the required tasks we have for him (i.e. dishes, room, laundry). ..we get him to send a picture. Then we can remotely activate.
How does he send a picture if the phone / tablet is de-activated?
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Dec 31, 2005
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Gutty96 wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 9:48 am
How does he send a picture if the phone / tablet is de-activated?
You can allow certain apps to work and can time them. For example, we could have the imessage up and running if we want. Or email.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
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nalababe wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 12:21 pm
You can allow certain apps to work and can time them. For example, we could have the imessage up and running if we want. Or email.
Gotcha.
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May 8, 2009
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Many parents seem to get their kids phones when they spend more time outside of the house while not at school. I suppose that's a fair concern, and it's possible to restrict usage when at home.

I was thinking of establishing a skill requirement to earn the privilege of using a phone. Perhaps once my child builds me a website in HTML (in text editor), then they can have a phone. Until then, we'll stick with Fisher-Price since it doesn't have iMessage :lol:
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Apr 6, 2013
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IndyBeak wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 11:25 am
In addition to the age, I guess it also matters how much of a sacrifice you are willing to do as a parent. If you want kids to reduce their smartphone usage, try to reduce yours as well. Use your phone as little as possible when in front of them. Set an example. Try to distract and engage kids in other activities.
This is not an option for 90% of the public who are completely addicted.
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Mar 31, 2008
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There is now more firm research out there on the impact of the first generation of 'kids' having grown up in the iPhone generation. And it doesn't look good. Social media (of course with a smartphone, it is all encompassing vs family desktop, or even laptop) tends to impact females more leading to more anxiety, depression, and thoughts and attempts of suicide. There is also another recent somewhat wide but not as 'in-depth' survey study that females are more impacted by non-physical abuse (online bully, verbal 'assault/trash talking').

Given the amount of anxiety disorders in teens/really young adults, and even grade school kids seen today, I completely agree with it, and almost expected it. So I think definitely limiting it's use or monitoring it somehow is key. Hard to do obviously if parents are less technically savvy or on it themselves alot. Or as often the case, parents actually being scared/caving in to their kids today, driven by social pressure to. Are non-smartphones still an option? I.e. old flip phones with keypad texting?
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Sep 13, 2016
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borntohula wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 2:47 pm
This is not an option for 90% of the public who are completely addicted.
Well, 24/7 access to smartphone is definitely not a critical need. It is a definitely an option, albeit a difficult one.
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Aug 15, 2015
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dsweetlou wrote:
Nov 6th, 2017 1:11 pm
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.
At an age where your kid can afford such device and the service fee attached to it.
If one cannot afford it, the restriction is pretty much there.

If your kid really wants it, the kid will work for it.

For example, my parents are against video games. They never bought us a game console or video games. However, my sibling would find ways to generate money to buy it. I just sat on the wagon.
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Oct 29, 2016
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I think the minimum age should be 15 year at least to allow a smartphone. But to be honest, it depends on the person and the other members of the family. I mean the nature and behavior of the family. It's hard to explain what I have in mind. I'm just gonna stop here.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
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We gave Our kids smartphone at a young age because of saftey reasons and a few other reasons, , despite the fact that I generally don’t like tech for kids. One positive we have seen so far at a younger age is because they are younger we are able to put many more controls and they are still willing to learn. I don’t know how many controls and lessons one can have at 15 or 16.

At 9 or 10, we set rules on when they can use it. As their friends start texting (it’s really bad for the girls) , each night I would go over the girl text message threads if we saw any thing inappropriate, teaching moments or if there was girl drama. Often it was something another kid would text (sometimes mine too) and we would go over the conversations and why people may have reacted the way they did. It’s been a great moments, and I have been able to help my child see a different view. I can’t imagine a 14+ allowing that to happen. Now, I don’tcheck very often unless she mentions something really weird or asks me. I think because we started tech earlier, it just seems normal for her to let me go over the stuff.
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Aug 13, 2012
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My parents got me Nokia 1100 when I was 12. Loved playing Snake.
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Oct 1, 2004
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For the ones that doesn’t get data, how do you track where they are? We were thinking of passing down my iPhone and keep track of the kids location through “find phone” feature.

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