When should you give your child a smartphone? New campaign says 8th grade

As a parent, it can be difficult to determine when your child should get a smartphone. But one organization is making a suggestion with a new campaign called “Wait Until 8th.”

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A group of moms and dads from Texas have created the “Wait Until 8th” pledge. It encourages parents to delay giving their children smartphones until at least the 8th grade. But it is only effective when 10 other families from your child’s grade and school sign it as well. 

“By banding together, this will decrease the pressure within the child’s grade to have a smartphone,” organizers said on the site.

What’s so special about the 8th grade?

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“Elementary and middle school years establish the foundation for your child's academic success. Children learn how to productively manage time, projects and homework. Introducing a constant distraction with a smartphone is paving a path for academic mediocrity,” the site said.

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Organizers also noted that smartphones can impair sleep, interfere with relationships and increase the risk for anxiety and depression. 

While some kiddos have received smartphones as early as first and second grade, experts believe it’s best to wait until kids are at least 14 before exposing them to smartphones.

“Some parents wanted to wait even longer but Wait Until 8th thought this was a good line in the sand to at least help keep smartphones out of elementary school and most of middle school,” the site said. 

“Wait Until 8th” does not elminate basic cell phones. Those allow users to only make and receive calls and texts. So, parents can still sign the pledge if their child has one of these.

Want to learn more? Check out the site for more details

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