The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving kids a cell phone until at least 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a cell phone.

Why Wait?

Top Silicon Valley executives are saying no to the cell phones until high school for their children. Why?  There is a long list of reasons, and parents need to know them.

 

CELL PHONES ARE ADDICTIVE

New research shows dependence on your cell phone.  The brain may produce some of the same addictive responses similar to alcohol, drug and gambling addictions.  Also, cell phones are like slot machines in your children’s pocket.  They are constantly persuading them to crave more.  Plus, the tech industry intentionally designs cell phone apps and social media for people to use for long periods.  The long periods of time is how they make their money.

 

CELL PHONES ARE AN ACADEMIC DISTRACTION

Elementary and middle school years establish the foundation for academic success. Children learn how to productively manage time, projects and homework. Introducing a constant distraction with a cell phone is paving a path for academic mediocrity. In addition, studies show that after a child receives a cell phone their grades are likely to suffer.  Another study found that children who attend schools with cell phone bans did better on tests.

 

CELL PHONES IMPAIR SLEEP

Studies show that the use of cell phones and other portable devices affects the quantity and quality of sleep. Kids are likely restless because they anticipate receiving texts and social media messages from friends.  This affects their nighttime routine. Plus, some children even wake up in the middle of the night to check texts or social media. Sleep disturbance in childhood is known to have adverse effects on health.  This includes a poor diet, obesity, weakened immune system, stunted growth, and mental health issues.

 

CELL PHONES INTERFERE WITH RELATIONSHIPS

Many parents regret allowing their child to have a cell phone. They have experienced the way the cell phone is destructive to relationships. Plus, the parent/child relationship suffers. Kids often become inattentive with the constant distraction the phone brings.  Also, face to face relationships dwindle.  Kids begin to shift their time and energy to their online “friendships.”

 

CELL PHONES INCREASE THE RISK FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Children are not emotionally equipped to navigate tricky social media waters at such an early age. For example, viewing someone else’s highlight reel on social media.  This often leads youth to think they are missing out or are not enough compared with their peers. Research shows that the more time someone uses social media the more likely they are to be depressed.

In addition, when children overuse technology, the constant stimulation of the brain causes the hormone cortisol to rise. Too much cortisol can inhibit a child from feeling calm. The loss of tranquility can lead to serious anxiety orders.

 

CELL PHONES PUT YOUR CHILD AT RISK FOR CYBER BULLYING

Bullying is no longer limited to the playground or locker room. Bullies seek to harm children through social media and texts.  Plus, online bullies often make retreating for the victim impossible. The most common medium used for cyber bullying is the phone. Nearly 43% of children have been bullied online. Unfortunately, only one in 10 victims will inform a parent or another adult of their abuse.

 

CELL PHONES EXPOSE CHILDREN TO SEXUAL CONTENT

In addition, cell phones have enabled children to view pornography anywhere. Pornography marketers intentionally target youth online.  They lure them to dangerous images and videos. One study showed that 42% of online youth users have been exposed to online pornography. Of those, 66% reported unwanted exposure to pornography often through online ads.

Kids are viewing sexual content with their phones.  But they are also creating it as well. More and more children are “sexting”.  “Sexting” is sending a sexual text messages and or explicit images. Also, various apps open the doors to sexual predators seeking to track, groom and harm our children.

 

TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVES BAN CELL PHONES FOR THEIR CHILDREN

According to a New York Times article, many technology executives have their kids wait.  Their kids are 14 years old before they receive a cell phone.  Also, the tech executives then limit kids to only calls and tests.  Their kids are not given a data plan until 16 years old. If the leaders of digital giants – Google, eBay, Apple, Yahoo – are delaying the cell phone…. Then should this not give us pause? Executives that flourish on the success of technology are protecting their children from cell phones. Should we not do the same?

 

To learn more, visit: https://www.waituntil8th.org

Original article on TheLocalMomNetwork.com

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