How old were you when you got your first cell phone? Austin, Texas, mom Brooke Shannon, started the “Wait Until 8th” pledge to raise the age of kids getting their first smartphones. Parents who sign the pledge are vowing to wait until their children are in 8th grade at the earliest to get their first smartphone. Shannon noticed that kids at her daughter’s elementary school had smartphones.
Wait until 8th pledge
Some of the parents got together to discuss the growing problem. “We started seeing children as young as first and second grade coming to school, play dates and birthday parties with the latest iPhone.” Shannon said in a interview with Babble.
Everybody Else Has One
First grade? What does a kid that young need with a smartphone? While times have certainly changed, that seems a bit excessive. I have a preschooler and yeah, I let him use my phone. But if he asked me for one at the age of 7 I’d surely laugh in his face. There are too many pressures for kids to get smartphones nowadays. The “everybody has one” pressure is why many parents cave and buy smartphones. If your kid is at an age where they can’t do more than simple math, they don’t need a smartphone. Period.Vowing not to bow to the pressure, Shannon created “Wait Until 8th.”
What started out as just a community pledge has grown quickly in a short period. According to Shannon more than 1,000 parents in 42 states and over 400 schools have signed the pledge. These parents are banding together to support each other and their children to stay smartphone free. It’s admirable that parents are coming together like this. One of the fundamental ideas of the group focuses on childhood being too short for smartphones.
I agree that young children shouldn’t spend excessive amounts of time on their smartphones. However, smartphones have become a part of everyday life and that means they are a part of childhood. But it’s up to parents to decide how much. Elementary school aged kids don’t need their own smartphones. No kid that young needs to be plugged in 24/7. It is obviously a personal choice, but if you agree take the pledge.
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(Image: iStock / dolgachov)