Tech Experts Say You Shouldn’t Give Your Child A Smartphone Until They Reach This Age

Americans love their smartphones.

You can’t walk into a store or even catch a movie without witnessing someone’s eyes glued to their smartphone screen.

But as it turns out, children are taking on the same habits as their parents, and it doesn’t look good.

In fact, studies show children are being introduced to smartphones younger and younger each year.

Even worse, children are choosing to follow their parents’ example and in turn are getting addicted to smartphones at a young age.

With tech apps and social media games, kids can’t seem to put their phones down.

But just how old should a child be before they get a smartphone?

Bill Gates and other tech experts say it’s later than you think.

Business Insider reported:

“According to the latest research, on average, a child gets his or her first smartphone at 10.3 years old. That same study shows that by age 12, a full 50 percent of children have social media accounts (primarily Facebook and Instagram).

Not so with the Gates family. In a recent interview with The Mirror, Bill Gates said he didn’t let any of his children get their own phone until they were 14 years old.

That’s right: His kids, now 20, 17, and 14, weren’t allowed to have smart phones until they were high school age.

Gates is joined in this assessment by James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that reviews products and content for families. In the Steyer household, kids have to be in high school before they can get a phone — after demonstrating they can exercise restraint and understand “the value of face-to-face communication.”

By delaying your child access to a phone, you can teach your children to be present and not depend on a smartphone.

Experts agree it’s important to teach children at a young age proper conversational skills, such as eye contact, and delayed responses to a heated text message.

With access to a smartphone, children are taught to respond right away to a text or message, instead of developing the time to process and think through a response.

And with predators posing as children looking to lure other children out, it’s critical parents monitor all smartphone communication and activity.

If you do allow your child to have a smartphone, it’s important to set boundaries.

Limit the amount of screen time your child can have each day. Make certain times of day “off limits,” such as during mealtime or at family events.

You can even create a box to place on the dinner table, and lead by example by placing your own phone inside, and instructing your children to do so as well.

Studies reveal the blue light from screens can interfere with sleep, so make sure your children turn off their phones at least 2 hours before bed.

Children should be encouraged to play outside and partake in physical activities instead of being glued to their phones.

Teaching your children at a young age to not be dependent upon their smartphone will set them up for success later in life.

What age do you think children should get a smartphone?

Do you think it’s important to limit the amount of screen time?

Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.