I posted an Instagram Reel a few months ago that both surprised and encouraged me.
The Reel was viewed over 1.5 Million times with 44.5K Likes and nearly 1,000 comments.
The post was from a parent's viewpoint: "We gave our son a phone too early? Can I just take it back?" And the answer I stated, using a voice over by Gary Vaynerchuk, was: NO!
(Click here to see the Reel)
A couple of comments were as expected: "Of course you can take the phone back. You're the parent!" But 98% of the comments were from young adults and teenagers sharing stories of when they got their first phone.
The vast majority agreed that the appropriate age to give a child a phone is 12-13 years old, during middle school years. Many shared how they got a phone age 9 or 10 so their parents could keep in touch with them when they were traveling to and from school.
One comment caught my eye, and I pinned it at the top of the post. Over 1,800 liked her story which included a recommendation for parents everywhere:
"I didn't get a phone or tablet till I was year 7 (UK Education system, meaning 6th grade) cause I was walking to school and my school required me to own an ipad, I personally would prefer not to have one because I feel too attached to it now and don't read much anymore and my socializing is no better. I know a lot of really young kids whos poor behavior is managed by shoving a game in their face friendships and connectivity is obviously important especially with the state of the world right now but there should be boundaries between parents and kids and a clear outline on what the device is for and when it is necessary to use." [sic]
I feel fortunate to have received so many valuable stories and insightful comments about how to best introduce digital devices to youngsters.
I share much more about this experience in an engaging talk for parents and teachers.
If you'd like to have me speak at your school, event, community center, or place of worship, please reach out to me.
What a benefit to hear such wisdom from the next generation of digital parents!