Research reveals the age moms believe their children are ready for cell phones and the internet

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A recent survey of 2,000 moms was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of smart home technology brand Alarm.com. (Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash)

American children are ready for their first cellphone at age 12, according to new research.

By this age, they should already be packing their own lunch, walking to and from the bus stop and completing school projects independently.

At age 13, kids should begin to earn their own money, become ready to stay home alone and be responsible enough to use the internet unsupervised.

That’s according to a survey of 2,000 leading decision-makers — also known as moms.

Overwhelmingly — in 78 percent of American families — mothers are the primary manager of their children’s “firsts,” and will play the leading role in organizing and overseeing their kids’ paths to independence.

Eighty-four percent of moms report being the parent primarily responsible for getting kids to and from school. Eighty-two percent are in charge of children’s homework time. Seventy-three percent are in charge of setting and enforcing rules at home, while 81 percent take the lead on vetting media and internet consumption.

The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of smart home technology brand Alarm.com, found that compared to their partners, moms are also primarily responsible for listening and talking through problems and worries (85 percent), refereeing arguments (77 percent), and making sure play dates and social activities happen (82 percent).

Anne Ferguson, VP of marketing at Alarm.com said, “While we typically appreciate that moms are busy, the skill and effort it takes to manage a young family is underappreciated. Moms have to be coaches — directing and empowering their kids into independence — and also protectors, ensuring that children are safe, well and thriving. What’s more, most moms combine this role with a full-time job outside of the home.”

In a typical week, family management tasks take up to 36 (unpaid) hours of mom-management, and often clash with other responsibilities. Of moms who work full- or part-time, 53 percent report that managing their family at times comes into conflict with work responsibilities.

Alarm.com’s Anne Ferguson said, “Managing children as a working mom requires a network of family and trusted friends, as well as technology that keeps you in touch. We see more and more working moms using our smart home security app to stay connected to older children after school, with features like no-show alerts, remote lock control and doorbell cameras offering certainty that kids are safe when home alone.”

The good news: Sixty-six percent of mothers feel that their children already appreciate everything they do for them, while an additional 7 percent understand that they will one day.

TOP 5 CONCERNS AMERICAN MOTHERS HAVE FOR THEIR CHILDREN

Being influenced by friends to behave badly/dangerously 47 percent

Spending too much time online/with screens 39 percent

Not having enough self-confidence 39 percent

Becoming spoiled or lazy 36 percent

Being unsafe due to others 33 percent

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AGE OF FIRSTS: WHEN DO MOMS THINK CHILDREN ARE READY TO:

Stay home alone, unsupervised 13 years

Use the internet (with supervision) 9 years

Own a cell phone 12 and a half years

Dress themselves 7 years

Get their first job/earn their own money 13 years

Pack their own lunch 11 years

Study independently for a test 10 and a half years

Wash and fold their own clothes 12 years

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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