A parenting tip from Ireland

Here’s an interesting bit of news:

Parents in a town in Ireland came together to voluntarily ban smartphones for kids as old as 13 by Zoe Rosenberg in a publication called Insider.

What are your thoughts about bans on smartphones for children?

53 thoughts on “A parenting tip from Ireland

  1. First…I love your photo. Wow. It’s a stunner. Second? If I had a rewind button, I think we’d parent differently where technology is concerned. I wish I hadn’t fallen into the trap about “safety” (she NEEDS a phone in the event of an emergency, etc. etc.). I think it was my way of rationalizing a bad decision and falling prey to the pervasiveness of phones when our girl was a pre-teen. We held out as long as we could, but in retrospect, I think we could’ve waited even longer. I hear you about phones, social media, bullying, anxiety and more. I hadn’t heard about the parents in Ireland. Cheers to them, I say!

  2. I read that China is doing the same banning electronics during certain times of the day, I believe it was. The issue in America is that most kids are required to have an Ipad in school now to do research, etc. That might not be true for K-2, but beyond, I think it would be. Anyhow, kids should free their brains. Gee, even WE need to do that. The thing is… if I take a break from my Blog for just one or two days, I come back with so many posts to read. THEN I have to decide, do I read them the old posts, when I took a break from reading?? Then I get all stressed out again. I think I need to learn to just move on, if people miss my comments they miss them, but we ALL need a break from technology.

    • I definitely need to take breaks from electronics. When I’m with my daughter or talking to her on the phone, she gets upset if I’m looking at something online. It is easy to tell if I’m not fully present. Interesting that China is doing this too.

  3. I sort of refused to fall into the trends with my kids, but then again with phones there weren’t many options back then and they too had tracfones and minutes but not until they got their driver’s license. They had to do without or find a regular phone until that point 🙂 Technology was just being introduced in school and there was no requirement to be connected. They used the big old clunky computer at home for research. My grands now have the watch connection Gizmo I think so they can make calls if needed, but no ability to do anything else. I like that option because I know they would be buried deep in a screen if they had the opportunity and they are 11 and 8.

  4. Fascinating thoughts, E.A. I didn’t get a cell phone until I left for college, and I’m grateful for that. I see so many young kids totally absorbed in their devices, everywhere I go. Twenty years, no one knew better, but now that the research is showing the potential harm, I wonder if parents are just being lazy by handing their kids devices.

    My cousin and his wife work in Silicon Valley and their kids don’t have any tech, and the kids are some of the most thoughtful, curious, and well-manner kids I’ve met. I think there’s something to it. Actually, all of the kids I know who don’t have access to devices tend to be far better behaved and engage than those who do. It’s a small sample size, but I think that town in Ireland may be on to something, and I’d be curious about follow up data on how that goes for them.

  5. I have no children but think this ban is prudent. Watching my nieces and nephew grow up, the older ones who didn’t get smart phones until high school were more aware of their surroundings than the younger ones who got a smart phone in grade school. I know the safety issue is usually thought of as a way for kids to contact parents in emergencies, and that’s good, BUT the rest of the time kids, like many adults, bury their noses looking at a screen instead of potential dangers that might be around them.

    • Yes, it is a good reminder for us to be off our phones and aware of what is going on around us. Also so many kids who grew up with smartphones don’t have good communication skills face to face or even want to use the phone to talk to someone.

  6. I think it’s a very smart idea. Even teenagers should only be allowed regular phones without the social media apps. That’ll stop a lot of issues from developing.

  7. I didn’t let the older kids have a phone until they were in junior and senior year of high school, first because phones weren’t out much before then and second because I didn’t see the need. When they were doing after school sports and things is when I thought it was handy for them to have a phone to call me when it was time to pick them up, etc. The youngest got a phone a few years earlier than that but it was a basic phone, just to use to call me not to play games on.

    • That’s how it was with our oldest. His iphone was his high school graduation present. Our daughter got hers earlier. I wouldn’t have given them iphones if I knew how damaging they could be.

  8. I think this ban is such a good idea. I am so grateful that my kids are pushing for phones yet because I think you are so right about delaying it for as long as possible. Grateful for this post to give me some back up on that plan! Thanks, Elizabeth!

    • Yes, definitely you want to put it off as long as possible. Also I recommend the tracphones or flip phones with no internet! There’s such a difference in my two children as far as anxiety and depression, and one just missed the whole social media age, while the other was a preteen growing up with it.

  9. I think you’re right, hold off as long as possible. I think the saddest thing you described is how kids changed, previously played cards together, now all stuck in their phones. We saw similar challenges with our kids. We had our youngest son a few years after the first two. His generation was much more reliant on the phone than his brother and sister. Kind of crazy.

  10. Parental control is the key. Our grandies have smartphones but our daughter limits their time and the phones shut down after a certain time or after their screen limit is reached…except for actual phone calls. She blocks most of the social media apps and has to approve any applications that they want to download. Sounds controlling, but in this day and age, I’m okay with it.

  11. Somehow when we were young, we survived not being in constant contact with our parents and friends. I think it was healthier mentally and physically – both from the perspective of screens replacing physical activities and from the strain on the heads and shoulders… I wonder what kind of posture issues these kids will have as they grow older. I didn’t have kids, but I think I would have been one of those “mean moms” who didn’t let their kids have phones until they were 25 or 30 (just kidding, but even 12 or 13 seems way too young).

    • You brought up a good point. The physical strain of looking down at screens all the time does cause problems. I’m so glad I grew up when I did, riding bikes, making trails through the brambles in the woods, and talking on the phone at night with my best friend. I think 12 or 13 is too young.

  12. I think this is a great idea. Our kids didn’t have smart phones until well into high school. But flip phones were just fading away at that time. I’m glad we don’t have young children now because it would be a tough game to balance. Add e-bikes to the mix also. When I see young children playing on a smart phone, it makes me cringe. We raised our kids reading which they loved. Even as adults, and in between technology, they love to read. We all buy too many books, but then again, you can’t have too many books. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and love your photo.

  13. Awesome shot captured 🤩!

    I think this this a spot on topic and strategy within parenting. As it is evidence based and proven to be harmful in the statistics of today, I think we can all agree we didn’t notice the possible negative impact it would have on our children.

    This makes me think about the amount of school facilities implementing electronic devices& technology usage. Whether it be the introduction of laptops, tablets, iPads, iPhones the list goes on and on. Did Ireland not utilize electronic devices?

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