Should I Give My Child a Smartphone? Women Weigh In

Child on smartphone


Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas866
May 19, 2024 at 4:20AM UTC

Deciding when to give your child their first cell phone can be tricky. With our society’s current tech obsession, you don’t want to subject your child to a smartphone at such a young age that they lose interest in the world around them. But at the same time, you want them to easily be able to contact you for both convenience and emergency situations.

One FGB’er wrote to our Community to share her alternative to this classic conundrum.

“I don’t let my kids have their phones yet, so this is what they’re using instead,” she wrote. “I’ll admit it, I’m a strict mom. I’ve got a long list of rules to follow in my household and one is a 'no phone policy.' My oldest is in 5th grade and all of her friends have phones. I understand that parents like their kids to have phones for emergencies, but there are other ways to contact me. My kids are using smartwatches with a GPS tracker that offers real-time location and there is a component that allows my children to contact me quickly. Parents... thoughts?”

A few anonymous respondents disagreed with this parenting decision.

“I think tracking your own kids is crazy. I would’ve hated that growing up,” one woman wrote.

“Your kids are just going to rebel because they know that you know where they are. Let them live a little,” another warned.

But others thought the smartwatch idea was creative, commending the original FGB’er for her tactic.

“I never thought of opting for a watch instead! Thanks for the idea," one mom said.

“I think the smartwatch is a fabulous idea. Tough cookies if the kids think it’s creepy," another user wrote. "They’re your kids. What’s creepy are all of the creeps out there looking to snatch your kid at any chance.”

“Good for you mom for allowing your kids the freedom to be kids and good for you for caring enough to keep tabs on them," said another. "I’m sure you will loosen the reigns as they get older and need to spread their wings.”

According to CNN, 42 percent of American children eight-years-old and younger have their own electronic tablet and 45 percent of children ages 10 to 12 have their own smartphones. It’s understandable that parents would want to extend the classic electronic-less childhood as long as possible.

Like most aspects of parenting, deciding when to give your children their first cell phone is completely subjective. But... it's always healthy to bounce ideas off of other Fairygodboss women. Our Community is the perfect place for FGB women to hash out their parenting dilemmas completely anonymously.

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