Parents postpone giving children a smartphone with "Wait Until 8th" pledge

children smartphone
Posted at 2:41 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 19:53:31-04

(KGTV) - As children prepare to head back to school, a growing number of parents are taking part in a smartphone awareness campaign called "Wait Until 8th".

By taking the online pledge, parents agree not to give their child a smartphone until at least 8th grade.  The goal is to have at least ten families from the same grade and school sign up for the pledge, said Wait Until 8th spokesperson Brooke Shannon.

A group of parents in Austin, Texas created the pledge saying smartphones, with access to cameras and social media, could be dangerous for children.

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San Diego State psychologist and author of iGen, Dr. Jean Twenge, thinks the pledge is a great idea, but it might come too soon. She said the links between social media and unhappiness are stronger in 8th grade than for older children.

Dr. Twenge noted the budding sexuality, strong emotions of adolescence, and the processes children experience as they create an identity as reasons to wait until at least 9th grade.

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More than 1,300 families from 43 states have signed the Wait Until 8th pledge in a matter of months, said Shannon.