Moms launch campaign to delay giving kids a smartphone

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There's a new push to wait to give kids a smartphone until eighth grade. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There's a new push to wait to give kids a smartphone until eighth grade. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Giving a kid free reign on the internet and social media before they're ready can lead to some serious psychological problems later in life, said Dr. Lisa Strohman. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Giving a kid free reign on the internet and social media before they're ready can lead to some serious psychological problems later in life, said Dr. Lisa Strohman. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

More and more parents are giving their children a smartphone at a younger age.

But some child advocates worry that letting an 8- or 9-year-old kid have a phone before they're ready could create some serious problems.

Kelly Yunis, of Phoenix, has no problem letting her 10-year-old daughter Samantha borrow her phone.

But she's not quite ready to let the fifth-grader have a smartphone of her own.

"I really want her to have a phone, but at the same time I want to still kind of protect her," said Yunis.

The Valley mom is like a lot of parents struggling with the decision about what age is the right age to give their kid a smartphone.

Some mom groups have started a campaign on social media called, "Wait until 8th."

It asks parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least eighth grade, hoping that by banding together it will decrease pressure felt by kids and parents to get a phone at an early age.

Dr. Lisa Strohman is a cyber-psychologist, who specializes in the impact technology has on children.

She said that every child is different, with some more responsible than others.

However, giving a kid free reign on the internet and social media before they're ready can lead to some serious psychological problems later in life, said Strohman.

"Parents need to know - we call it ACES in psychology - adverse childhood experiences," said Strohman. "What we find is that kids experiencing those via technology do not share that with their parents because the consequences to that is [sic] that technology will be taken away."

Other reasons parents should think twice before buying their pre-teen a smartphone are smartphones:

  • can be addictive
  • can be an academic distraction
  • Impair sleep
  • Increase risk for anxiety/depression
  • Subject a child to cyber bullying

"There's no true reason why kids need to have a smartphone," said Strohman.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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