“How young is too young for my kids to have their own phone?”
“I didn’t get my kid a phone… I just got them an iPad. Is that dangerous?”
“My 11-year-old daughter wants an Instagram account. Should I let her?
“What age should I let them have access to all of this stuff?!!”
For years experts have been recommending parents wait until their kids are age 12 to give them their own mobile devices. Notice I didn’t just say “phones.” When I say devices I mean tablets, iTouch, laptops… especially devices that allow them access to the Internet and social media.
I’m not alone in this age recommendation. In fact, most experts recommend kids do not begin using social media until age 13. Most social media platforms require kids to be 13 to sign up because of the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prevents sites from collecting select information from kids under 13. Parents who allow their kids to sign up before then are allowing them to lie about their age.
I realize this is difficult when every other parent out there is giving their kids devices before they cut their first tooth. Our kids are sure to complain, “But Chris has his own iPad!”
This is where parents need to stop and ask themselves, “What is my role?” If you want to be the friend parent, or “peerant,” who gives into their kid’s every whim… then by all means, give em’ a phone. If you see your role as the Sherpa who will guide them along the road to adolescence successfully to adulthood, then wait until they’re 12…
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The FTC has added some important clarifications which parents need to know about. And, despite what most parents seem to think, the FTC actually strengthened the laws/rules for online companies… they didn’t weaken them! So as much as your 11 year old seems mature enough to handle an Instagram account or she only exchanges Snapchats with her older sister… it’s still against the rules.
Here’s what has changed: (again, these rules are only for users under 13 years old)…
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A break up in the Avengers? A house full of scantily-clad sorority girls? Another alien invasion? Some ninja turtles, a lost blue tang fish, and a fat Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?
Yep, that’s how the summer movies are going to start this year.
Every spring, The Source for Youth Ministry compiles a list of the films that are expected to make the biggest impact at the summer box office. This year's films include comedies...