Parenting & Family

Smartphone at what age?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 9th, 2018 5:15 am
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May 8, 2009
3308 posts
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45.420833°N, 75.69°W
greg123 wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 6:13 pm
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.
GPS still works without data. I suppose you'd need a parental app hidden on their device to periodically text you their location. Never tried, but should do the trick.
Motorola phone. Linux on 2xcomputers. Brew beer & wine @home.
Home service reseller internet + FPL + antenna with streaming on smart TV
Wireless 1 line w/ Virgin on QC plan, few lines w/ Koodo to get phones, couple FreedomPop SIM's for roaming
Sr. Member
Jan 16, 2007
675 posts
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Toronto
FindDealstoronto wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 12:15 am
What's the best way to block them from viewing adult content?
Don't give them a smart phone. A flip phone is my suggestion.
Deal Addict
Apr 19, 2010
1703 posts
461 upvotes
Sudbury
I'd say when they are old enough to show responsibility.

My son is 4 years...daughter 6 months...I'm sure we will get our son a phone when his around 12/13 years old.
I feel in today's world...haven't a cell phone is a necessity.

The following are legit reasons:
- Use tracking on it (Find My Friends)
- Our front door, your phone is the key (not having to worry about carrying a key around). Also, when someone opens the door, an alert is sent to our phones to let use now the door was opened and by who.
- Staying connected with us (school activities, etc).

Cell plans are cheap...public mobile, etc.
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Jun 8, 2008
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Toronto
greg123 wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 6:13 pm
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.
I text them and ask them.

We've occasionally used google location as well, doesn't work as well as data-enabled stuff. I also have an old-school label on the actual phone with *my* number on it - have had one lost phone returned to me that way.
Sr. Member
Feb 13, 2015
915 posts
138 upvotes
Oakville, ON
Its very different compared to 5-8 years ago. I first got my cellphone as well as all of my peers and friends in grade 9 entering highschool so around 15. That was back in 2009ish. Back then people didnt really have a "smartphone" most capability were for texting with the qwerty board and making phone calls. Though I did have an ipod touch which allowed me to browse online. Nowadays, all phones or atleast the majority are considered smartphones which have access to basically anything... technology has evolved and it is very different than what it was when I was growing up. I suggest you put restrictions on the device if you are worried of exposing your children to certain content.
Penalty Box
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Jun 24, 2015
902 posts
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Woodbridge, ON
wait till their 18 before you give them a smart phone, if they complain that their friends are under 18 and have smart phones, tell them their parents were not so "smart" to give them smart phones at that age and they should mind their own business
Sr. Member
Jan 16, 2007
675 posts
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Toronto
GoodFellaz wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 10:27 am
wait till their 18 before you give them a smart phone, if they complain that their friends are under 18 and have smart phones, tell them their parents were not so "smart" to give them smart phones at that age and they should mind their own business
It's been a few months since I've completely banned/confiscated the phones/tablet and here are my results.

Pluses
1. Definitely better environment at home since off the stuff. More interactive to us elders. No more hiding away in the bedroom.
2. On the computer, I've been able to see her browsing habits by looking at browser history. She hasn't figured out how/the need to clear browser history yet. Some questionable sites, but not bringing it up yet. Gonna keep the power dry for something big.
3. More receptive to planned activities in general.

Minus
1. I think she's using other people's phones outside the home. So no idea what happens outside.
2. Wanting to spend more time away from home, probably because of friends with cell phones/devices.
3. Loss of control outside the home is a big issue for us.
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May 12, 2014
1066 posts
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Montreal
NubNub wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 4:58 pm

3. Loss of control outside the home is a big issue for us.
Presumably they use the same sites at home and away from home?
Newbie
Nov 24, 2017
12 posts
2 upvotes
My 19 month old answers her fisher price phone by putting it on top of her head instead of her ear, so not ready for a smartphone yet.
Deal Addict
May 3, 2005
1046 posts
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Woodbridge
My son didn't get a data plan until grade 10 this past September. He's had an iPod Touch and then an iPhone since grade 6/7 but never was allowed to bring it to school until grade 8 as he started walking to school on his own and he was to check in when he arrived as well when he got home.

The one plus about only having internet access via wifi was that I could control his browsing habits a bit more at home and at school they filter a lot already. The problem with a data plan is that they can totally bypass any restrictions you have on your home wifi by simply using their data plan. I think as parents you need to be prepared that they have the equivalent of a computer in their hands and can and will access anything that their minds, or friends, tell them to look at. Youtube is bad enough with some videos but they can easily go to any questionable sites. Of course this chews up through their data plan much quicker and that could be cause for them to limit themselves in doing it assuming no "unlimited" like data plans.

Personally, I thought that grade 10 / 15 years old was a good enough time as most of his peers either had a plan from earlier on or were getting one too. These days teens have them as part of their social structure whether we like it or not. At this stage not giving one or taking it away could have some side effects in their social hierarchy at school like being picked on and called "poor" for not having one. You know, stupid stuff that kids do. The problem that I do have is how much having a smartphone takes his mind away from doing other things. Forget about chores unless you remind him, but he's more interested in replying back to Snapchats than sitting down and watching a movie with the family.

I would also add that if you do give them one, make sure that it doesn't stay in their room during school nights or else they'll be up all night on it with the other friends who stay up past midnight. We have our son bring his down at 10pm and then he's to go to sleep or at least attempt to fall asleep but without the device. We also added stipulations to his data plan. We agreed that if he maintained a 70% avg in school we would go 50/50 on paying for the plan. If he maintained higher than 70% I would pay for the whole thing, if it dips below 70% he pays for the whole thing and if his grades dropped below 60% then the SIM card would go bye-bye. He has limited funds since the only money he has is gift money but we have generous inlaws and sometimes they give the kids a bit more than they should. My hope is that he realises that if he coasted by at 60% that he could end up not having a SIM card within 6 months or so and that that would force him to work harder in school and not slack off or anything.
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2394 posts
427 upvotes
Toronto
How are they supposed to visit specific contents for educational purposes? I remember when I was still in middle school and my goal is to become a doctor, so I would study the human anatomy everyday after school.
Deal Addict
May 3, 2005
1046 posts
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Woodbridge
blitzforce wrote:
Jan 8th, 2018 3:24 pm
How are they supposed to visit specific contents for educational purposes? I remember when I was still in middle school and my goal is to become a doctor, so I would study the human anatomy everyday after school.
Most schools rarely require the students to use their devices for researching things during class time. If they do need to, they either use Chromebooks, the school library computers or their personal devices. But again, based on my son's high school, it's rare so the whole argument about the devices being used for research or school activities is mostly bogus.
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Aug 15, 2015
708 posts
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Markham, ON
OP, any updates?

Anyhow, just let your child know that your number is important because it is a way for you to contact them or vice versa. The more people who knows about your number, the more important your number becomes. I don't really use my phone much but I just want to make sure I am reachable if someone I know calls me.

They have made the phone very easy to use but it's getting hard for people to control their own phone now. I keep my number because I remember it. I also remember important numbers. I don't mind manually entering numbers each time I get a new phone but they sort of took that responsibility away from me as a customer/supporter sort of thing.

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