Bill Gates Explains the 'Safest' Age To Give a Child a Cellphone

It turns out that Bill Gates is strict on how his children use the technology he helped bring to the masses of people that use it!

In a recent interview with the Mirror, Gates said his children were not allowed to own their own cellphone until the age of fourteen.

"We often set a timer after which there is no screen time, and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour," he said.

He added that the children are not allowed to have their cellphones at the table, but are allowed to use them for homework or studying.

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The Gates children, now twenty, seventeen, and fourteen are all above the minimum age requirement to own a phone, but they are still banned from having Apple products in the house, speculatively because Apple founder Steve Jobs has undergone rivalry with him for a long time.


The parenting choice may seem a little harsher than usual but according to a 2016 "Kids &. Tech: The Evolution of Today's Digital Natives" report, the average age that a child gets their first smartphone is now 10.3 years.

"I think that age is going to trend even younger because parents are getting tired of handing their smartphones to their kids," Stacy DeBroff, chief executive of Influence Central, told The New York Times.

James P. Steyer, Chief executive of Common Sense Media, additionally told the Times that he also has 1 strict rule for his kids when it comes to mobile phones.

They get one when they start high school and only when they've proven they have restraint. "No 2 kids are the same, and there's no magic number," he said. "A kid's age is not as important as his or her own responsibility or maturity level."

PBS Parents also give an array of advice on when to give your child a smartphone and what you should do to ensure their safety.

These things include being involved with your child's experience with electronic devices and limiting screen time.

According to another study, most children own a mobile phone by the age of 7 as per the Guardian. Thirty-nine percent also say that they could not live without their devices.

So, it is a big decision to give a child a phone, and has to be done safetly.

When would you give a child a smartphone from a young age?