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Technology Milestones For Kids | When Should Kids Have Cell Phones, Facebook, Game Consoles?: Studio 5

High-Tech Parenting: When Should Kids Have Cell Phones, Facebook, Game Consoles?

Under pressure to let your kids go high-tech? Get expert advice on when to let children have a cell phone, open a Facebook account and more. Studio 5 Contributor and therapist, Julie Hanks, has tips to help you manage kids and technology.

1) At what age should a child have a cell phone?

Age 12 is the earliest I’d recommend a basic cell phone for safety reasons.
Age 16 is the earliest for smart phones.

Tech Tip: Encourage responsibility by having them pay for monthly fee and any additional charges.
Tech Tip: Have child check in phone at night, before bedtime.

2) At what age should a child have a Facebook account?

Age 14-15 with parental oversight of online activity. Facebook requires you agree that you are at least 13 before you can set up an account.

Tech Tip: Have current login information to child’s social media accounts and check them randomly.
Tech Tip: Require that your child add you as a “friend”.

3) At what age should a child have a video game system?

Ages 4 + activity based games on Wii or Xbox Kinect. Games should focus on physical activity, social skills, and basic decision making skills.
Age 8 + for Handheld devices like 3DS or PSP. Games should focus on development of interests, increased confidence and competence in their abilities.
Age 14 + for more intense games.

Tech Tip: limit gaming time and encourage social and physical activity.
Tech Tip: Beware of violence first-person shooter games as they desensitize to real-life.

4) At what age should your child have an iPod Touch/iPad?

Ages 12 is the youngest age for iPod Touch/iPad, and only with parental restrictions. Identity is the main developmental task during teenage years. Music, entertainment and playing games are a large part of adolescent identity.

Tech Tip: Get familiar with device “settings” so you can restrict web browsing, app installation, YouTube, etc.

5) At what age should a child have a laptop?

Age 18 is the age I’d recommend unsupervised use of laptop.

Tech Tip: All computer usage should be in open area of home and under supervision.

More Parenting Tech Tips:

· There is no such thing as confidentiality when it comes to internet/wifi usage.

· Parents should have log in and passwords to all online accounts, phones, texts.

· No phones, TV’s, or computers, iPad devices in bedrooms or after hours for safety and good sleep habits.

· Most tech gadgets have Internet access so monitor closely.

· Check and set parental controls on all electronic devices.

· No unsupervised Internet access on personal devices until 18.

About Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW:
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to TV Shows and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available. Dr. Hanks is currently accepting coaching clients.



I am a strong believer that technology not only makes the learning process much more fun, but it also creates allows a more hands-on experience for kids! If you are interested in other educational products for kids, I would check out our educational apps! 🙂

Best Regards

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