Common Sense Media is a researched-backed and independent nonprofit concerned with the well-being of families and schools. Since 2003, the media advisors have procured informed, object data to help families and schools navigate the entertainment and technology industries. In order to achieve their goal of creating a digital world "that works better for all kids, their families, and their communities," Common Sense Media partners with lawmakers, industry leaders, and global media leaders. At its core, the company is dedicated to the safety, equity, health, and happiness of children around the world.
Our mission to ensure digital well-being for kids everywhere has never been more vital than it is today. —Common Sense Media
In 2019, the media advisors published The Common Sense Census: Media Use By Tweens and Teens, a study that's since captivated the national dialogue. According to their research, over 50% of American children own a cell phone by the time they turn 11-years-old, and parents are divided on the issue. Some parents say 11 is too young. Others are saying it depends on the child or the circumstance.
Where do Idaho parents stand on the issue of kids and phones?
We moved to Star eight years ago a few months before our daughter turned two-years-old. Back then, my husband and I were on the same page when it came to kids and cell phones. Both of us were against it. But by the time our daughter was five, she had joined a competitive gymnastics team in Boise and went to school more than 40 minutes away from our house.
Today she's nine, and we can't imagine the idea of her not keeping her phone on her. Strictly monitored by my husband and I, our daughter's phone keeps her connected to us. Between her time in school Monday through Friday and the 20+ hours a week she spends training, she's a girl on the go. And while she's only ever in the care and trusting hands of our close-knit circle, we appreciate the ability to communicate with her at a moment's notice. Sometimes it's the after-school pick-up plan that's changed. Sometimes we just want to check in with one another. Whatever it is, we're never at a loss for connection, and we prefer it that way.
In truth, our daughter is a pretty mature nine-year-old. Between the good grades she earns, to the time she spends training with her gymnastics team, she demonstrated her readiness to have a phone before we got her one. But my husband and I understand no two kids are the same. What was right for our daughter might not be appropriate for yours. If you're a parent trying to decide if your kid is ready for a phone, the American Academy of Pediatrics developed a 10-question survey to assist you in making the decision. Visit AT&T's ScreenReady Digital Parenting resource to access the AAC survey.