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A global view of children with smartphones

My son has asked me (for what must be the thousandth time) when he will be old enough to have his own smartphone. I pause long enough for him to tell me a list of children in his second grade class who already have one. I tell him that he isn't old enough for one yet and that the circumstances in his life don't warrant him having one "in case of emergencies."

This is met by anger, tears and what I refer to as his frumpy face. So, I try a different tactic and show him how much a monthly phone would cost him. (I stress the "him" part.) Once he sees that his monthly allowance isn't able to cover the cost, he calms down a bit.

I am sure he will be back to discuss this again soon.

And maybe when he returns I will be better prepared. For instance, I can show him this article which reports on the age that children around the world have their own smartphone. It also includes a few parents who go the flip phone route for children who just need their phone to be...well, a phone.

That could be another option one day.

I would like to delay this part of his life for as long as possible. It's hard to describe to him the stress that can come from always being connected to the world and that there is a certain amount of innocent freedom that being mobile-less can bring.

"But I could text you!" he will say to me.

"You could just write me a note," I will counter. "I'd like that better."

And I am sure this will be met with the frumpy face again

Have you talked with your child about the "right" age for them to own a smartphone? Tell me how it went in the comments.

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