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Earliest age/best time to give your child a smartphone?

The Motor Court Company

Well-known member
Smartphone is very powerful these days, enabling all kinds of freedom, akin to first car for a new driver. What is the most appropriate age to give them a phone? Middle school is too late? Is peer pressure a problem? Let’s say if all their close friends rock iPhone Pros, we should buy the same to match?
 

CalBears96

Well-known member
I think middle school is reasonable. IIRC, we gave our son the iPhone SE either 8th or 9th grade. He then earned his iPhone 12 Pro by getting straight A's for 2 semesters. My wife made a deal with him for $500 reward for straight A's for each semester in high school and he can choose what to buy with the money.
 

iacrenter

Well-known member
I delayed until freshman year before buying one. Kids had to sign a social media/technology contract. It stipulated things like: Creating accounts only with parental permission, agreeing to give all passwords to parents and allowing for review of all social media, not using the phone after 10pm, only using tech devices in public areas (no phones in bedroom), etc...
 

Danimal

Active member
Smartphone is very powerful these days, enabling all kinds of freedom, akin to first car for a new driver. What is the most appropriate age to give them a phone? Middle school is too late? Is peer pressure a problem? Let’s say if all their close friends rock iPhone Pros, we should buy the same to match?
Are you looking into getting a phone for your grandkid?
 

irvinehomeowner

Well-known member
In Irvine, if you don't have an iPhone by middle school... you will be looked at sideways.

I think that's actually been lowered down to 4/5/6.

My kids' friends have phones better than mine... but I guess that's more on me. :)
 

qwerty

Well-known member
My kids have had iPhones for a while. When my daughter started kinder i activated the phone service and put in her backpack to track her. Since she had a phone we gave my son a phone and he was 3.

And I wonder why they are glued to their phones now :-(
 

Liar Loan

Well-known member
Give? My kids need to buy their own. My oldest saved up for a used iPhone in 7th grade with babysitting money. My second oldest (currently a 7th grader) doesn't seem interested in a phone. She saved up for a used iPad with money earned through her pet-sitting business and chats with friends that way.

If they get sideways looks from peers for not having the best gadgets... Good!!! I don't want them growing up to be conformists or too worried about what others think. I also want them learning to start their own businesses to earn money to buy the "necessities" of life.

If they ever lose or break their devices, they will also have to pay to replace/repair them. And guess what? They take stellar care of their things because they know a bailout won't be coming.

I think one of the hardest things as parents who can provide their kids with anything is learning when to restrain ourselves from doing so.
 

momopi

Well-known member
When my 2 year old asked me for a cell phone, I told her that I used the money to buy an investment property so there's no money for a cell phone. For Christmas she gets 1 oz silver bar.

 

CalBears96

Well-known member
When my 2 year old asked me for a cell phone, I told her that I used the money to buy an investment property so there's no money for a cell phone. For Christmas she gets 1 oz silver bar.

Does a 2-year old understand what investment property is? I think a cell phone is more important to her, right? 😂
 

bones

Well-known member
An Apple Watch is a good alternative for upper elementary and middle school if you’re not quite ready for a phone. Apple’s newish family thing means kids can have a fully functioning watch without a connected phone. You can text and call and set limits on contacts, etc.
 

The Motor Court Company

Well-known member
An Apple Watch is a good alternative for upper elementary and middle school if you’re not quite ready for a phone. Apple’s newish family thing means kids can have a fully functioning watch without a connected phone. You can text and call and set limits on contacts, etc.
yes my kid is upgrading from Apple Watch family mode to iPhone.
 
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