When to give kids a cell phone

Provided by the Common Sense Conversation with Deva Dalporto and Robin Nabi in January 2024.


  • The Common Sense Parents' Ultimate Guides to popular social media platforms including Snapchat and Instagram, as well as games like Minecraft and Roblox.
  • Common Sense's Guide to ChatGPT for Parents and Caregivers provides a useful overview.
  • The Family Tech Planners are a free and easy way to get started codifying your family's rules and expectations around tech use. Helpful conversation starters included!
  • Here is our library of lesson collections. You can search by age and topic and find all the lessons I referred to on AI, digital well-being, etc. As I said, these lessons are great for adults as they can help us better understand the technology and have more informed conversations.
  • Here is the link to our Healthy Young Minds initiative that addresses the youth mental health crisis.
  • Here is info. about VR headsets and related privacy issues.


  • [VIDEO - Kids and Tech: When to Get a Phone] For parents of younger kids, here’s a video about when to get a kid a phone and this link brings you to articles that you can browse by topic and age.


  • Model the behavior you want to see. Here’s a funny ad campaign we did with Will Ferrell that reiterates this!
  • Talk with your kids about what they are experiencing online in a curious, non-judgmental way so you can keep communication lines open. Have short conversations.
  • Talk with kids about how to be critical consumers and creators of media. Ask about how to determine what is true and where they can find reliable information.
  • Remember it’s all about a healthy balance. Tech can be such an incredible tool for learning and connecting. As parents we need to make sure we’re aware of what’s happening and encourage other forms of social engagement and connection.