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When Should Kids Get Their First Phone? We Asked the Experts.

May 02 2019
Children become ready for their first cellphone at age 12, says new research.

By this age, they should also be packing their own lunch, walking to the bus stop, and completing school projects independently. The following year, aged 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! Newsthe New York Post and elsewhere.

Here's why we chose to ask Moms—and what else we discovered.

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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 refereeing their kids' arguments and disputes. That's a lot to manage.

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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.

Related: How smart home security can give Moms a break

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: we appreciate you. Thank you—and happy Mother's Day!

As your family grows, we'll be here to help with technology that makes it easier for you to stay connected to your children, and to keep them safe and well as they become independent.

To find out more about smart home security, click here—or watch the video below.