Rally your community to delay the smartphone for children until at least 8th grade

The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a smartphone.

Smartphones are distracting and potentially dangerous for children yet are widespread in elementary and middle school because of unrealistic social pressure and expectations to have one.

These devices are quickly changing childhood for children. Playing outdoors, spending time with friends, reading books and hanging out with family is happening a lot less to make room for hours of snap chatting, instagramming, and catching up on You Tube.

Parents feel powerless in this uphill battle and need community support to help delay the ever-evolving presence of the smartphone in the classroom, social arena and family dinner table. Let’s band together to wait until at least eighth grade before children are allowed to have a smartphone.

Learn more at www.waituntil8th.org. More than 8,500 families have signed since we launched In March.

Childhood is too short to waste on a smartphone. Let’s let kids be kids longer.

Cheers,
Brooke Shannon
Wait Until 8th Founder

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It’s a good Idea, no more phone calls from parents. Where are you, what are you doing, Go home to study?

Are you sure all parents are ready for this?:wink:

And probably “they” need to do a study.
Take children who use more technology and who using less technology, and compare how is it going to change their future. Maybe children who used more technology is going to be more successful in the life. Or maybe not, this should be studied. After all, very soon all jobs will be technology-related.

Do you think it’s really necessary to take the smart phone away or prevent them from having it? I think there are as many helpful apps as there are destructive apps on these phones. Would it not be better to better control and monitor what is happening on the phone vs. removing it as a tool?

The skill of learning how to communicate face to face can never be replaced with technology. Doctors, nurses, social workers, veterinarians, Park rangers, arborists, landscape artists, chefs, pharmacists etc… use technology as a tool. Technology assists humans- when it becomes the human or replaces human contact we got problems… My 9 year kid has never played with a an iPad or phone and she is a happy kid- she actually thinks phones are a problem in our community.

A good preparation! But, I think the real test has yet to come. At age 9 you are still her hero… but now puberty is coming. From then it depends on her circle of friends and the smartphone policies on school, etc.
I have a niece who got hooked at 12. Now 14 years old, there are all kinds of smartphone trends and fads she follows, where not participating is unthinkable for the kid. Like taking a selfie every morning and evening and sharing them on Snapchat among a group of about 30 friends… and everyday she has to check all these selfies, respond, etc.
Following a number of vloggers, who blatantly advertise the products (make-up and such) that you MUST use yourself. They’ve become the real heroes now… but they are not good educators at all, as they adapt themselves mostly to the recommendation algorithms of the platform to increase followers.

Also I see a lot of kids wanting to become vloggers themselves… tempted by stories about the huge amounts of money you can earn, continuously receiving free products to create ‘unwrapping’ videos, etc. Looks like paradise.

But I’ve seen documentaries where popular vloggers were interviewed. It’s a terrible, terrible job… having to create new content all of the time, not taking vacations anymore - even short ones - in fear of losing thousands of hard-earned subscribers. Very stressful!

My advice regarding schools: select one with good policies in place if you can, e.g. putting smartphones in lockers during lessons. And apply pressure them to adopt stricter regulation, if they don’t have these in place yet.

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Thx aschrijver for the wisdom… I’ve never been into fads so it’s gonna be interesting. I think it’s a good thing I waited to have kids because I just wouldn’t pay for such nonsense… I really believe tech for kids will time out with serious health problems. This wait till 8 campaign allows phone use for talking and texting but not smart phone so that’s good for parents who need to contact their children that way.

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I think the idea behind it is to take away a SMARTphone and substitute it with a “Retro” phone. Yet I don’t think that this new digital puritanism will really be successful. It must be possible to monitor mobile phone use without becoming a luddite or going full Amish on technology.

At our school we have loading docks. When the children come in, they hand over their phone to the teacher and the teacher then docks them at the loading dock. The phones remain there until school is over. Benefit: when the kids go home the phone is fully loaded and there were no interruptions in class.

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My kids biked 2 miles each way to school in 6th-8th grade, they had a filp phone until high school; however, the youngest got a smart phone in 6th grade. He rarely uses it, and leaves it at home all the time… and the whole point was for him to contact me if something happened on his bicycle ride!

As a scout leader, I have seen a tremendous shift in how long kids have had cell phones. My 14 and older kids have had them only a short time, but our new 11 year olds have had them since about the age of 8. They carry their phones everywhere! The hardest part is dealing with the withdrawal when we go camping (we take away their phones when we go camping.)

We have been talking about changing our cell phone policy to keep youth. Once their tasks are done, they will get their cell phones for a period of time.

The use of phones that have internet connection (compared to phones that just call and text) and then their removal at times (like camping) perhaps causing some withdrawal seems to be common. I am not part of Wait Until 8th but I have signed it for my 4th grader; here are some more reasons for waiting: https://www.waituntil8th.org/why-wait/

It’s good to point out to kids that people who are highly entrenched in the tech world don’t want their kids to be exposed to too much tech… e.g. Steve Jobs…

Brooke and wait until eighth is an important and useful movement. A two year-old can learn how to operate a smartphone in 5 minutes. The tech world is changing so quickly, 80% of the jobs our kids will have haven’t even been created yet. The technology kids are using on their smartphones (texting, social media, YouTube, snap chat, gaming) are not useful apps they will need to know for some future career. Every US school has a technology programs during which kids are learning how to use technology.

Kids brains are not fully developed until their mid-20s. They lack impulse control, executive functioning skills, etc. Skills that are necessary to use a smartphone appropriately.

During puberty, kids brains are developing neural pathways that will set them up for the rest of their lives. If their brains are learning to play a game on their smartphones whenever they are bored, they don’t learn creativity. If they rely on their phones in an uncomfortable situation, how do they learn resilience? The examples go on and on. This is why most addicts first use in their teens and early-20s

Additionally, there are skills kids aren’t using because they spend all their time on their smartphones. Resilience, interpersonal skills, responsibility, empathy, planning skills. There are far more risks than benefits with handing a child under 13 a smartphone.

This is not my opinion. This is based in neuroscience and psychology. The same science tech developers are using to make these products addictive. They do not belong in children’s hands.

We have launched a similar, community-based movement called Concord Promise. Along with urging parents to delay smartphone ownership, we offer support for all parents through education and partnership with Leading psychologists, neuroscientists, medical doctors, researchers and others in the field who have done studies. Because you’re right, we do have to teach kids how to use technology and smartphones responsibility. But not until they’re old enough to handle it. In the meantime, a flip phone lets parents keep in touch. Check it out: www.concordpromise.org

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This is a very important topic you bring up here- technology will not really “teach” our kids anything but bad habits. Developmental milestones not being met by certain kids- because of the displacement of time technology takes. Learning to keyboard to take standardized testing instead of pen to paper is not encouraging kids to learn life skills it us actually depriving them of this.

France’s pediatricians have basically done that. Our physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists and nurses are very slow on the uptake. The research is there and they should be making rigorous health recommendations. Look up 3-6-9-12.

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How do you know kids won’t sell/buy phones from their friends second-hand and just hide them?

The same could be said for other drugs, but nevertheless parents try to do their best to provide their children with a solid background in order to face them. I think the problem is that very few parents make the equation:

smartphone = drug / addiction

or anyway they don’t make it clear at all, starting by the example they give through their own use of smartphones.

I have personal experience in this realm. I did not get a smart phone until I was a sophomore in high school (so like 3 years ago). It sounds insane, but it really was for the better. School now a days usually offer a computer or device (at least where I live, ik it’s not true everywhere) that students can use to do school work. I really did not need a phone. And if I needed to call my parents I just used someone else’s device. My government teacher said, “Giving kids phones is like putting them on a leash so their parents can always track them. It keeps you guys from being independent”. While I think this is a very crude explanation of the issue, I have to agree. Not having constant access to parental advice forced me to solve situations on my own and get creative. I also support flip phones whole heartedly. It is a good way to get kids used to using a device mindfully and with intention, instead of an always on mentality. I did not have that transition so I became slightly obsessed with my device when I first got it, BUT my parents and family always kept me in check about it. I also knew how awesome phone less life could be, so it was easier for me to go back towards that. I think this campaign is cool and will be checking it out!

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