When should you allow your kid to have their own cell phone?

Author: ALARM
Published: Updated:

Children become ready for their first cellphone at age 12, says new research.

By this age, your kids should also be packing their own lunch, walking to the bus stop, and completing school projects by themselves. The following year, at age 13, they’ll become ready to first earn their own money, stay home alone, and use the internet unsupervised.

The insights above are based on a survey of 2,000 parenting experts—also known as Moms—commissioned by Alarm.com and reported this week in Yahoo! News and elsewhere.

Here’s why they chose to ask Moms—and what else was discovered.

Moms are more than doers: they’re managers 

When it comes to milestones, Moms are typically the parent in charge. 78 percent of the Moms we surveyed say that they’ll be the primary decision-maker on when their children are ready for cellphones and the other “firsts” above.

In fact, Moms overwhelmingly take charge of managing their children as they grow and learn to do things for themselves.  For example, 84 percent of Moms say they’re in charge of making sure that kids get to and from school (our home security technology can be a big help with this one).

82 percent of Moms are in charge of homework. 82 percent are in charge of making sure children participate in activities or play dates.73 percent of Moms say that they’re in charge of setting and enforcing rules at home, while 77 percent are in charge of referring their kids’ arguments and disputes. That’s a lot to manage.

Being your family’s manager is tough 

Managing a family requires skill and effort. Moms need to be coaches—directing and empowering kids into independence—but also protectors, ensuring that children are safe, well and thriving.

It also requires a lot of time. On average, Moms report spending 36 hours a week managing their kids—a staggering figure given that most Moms combine this role with a full-time job outside the home. Unsurprisingly, 53 percent report that family and work responsibilities come into conflict.

One silver lining: 66 percent of Moms say that their children appreciate everything they do for them. An additional seven percent, meanwhile, at least understand that they’ll appreciate it when they’re older.

Are you a Managing Mom? 

To the Managing Moms out there: you’re appreciated. Thank you—and happy Mother’s Day!

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