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At What Age Should a Child Get a Smartphone?

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The following program contains mature subject matter Viewer discretion is advised

Of course with any powerful tool in our house, whether it's a car or a firearm or social media in a phone, we wanna only give our kids freedoms that are good for them and that they're responsible enough to handle So we lock down an open internet connection and the ability to download apps and my wife decided to begin trying new apps by downloading them onto her phone, not the kids phone, but hers so that out in the open, in the kitchen we could learn how to use them together, not behind a closed door and behind a password that we don't know Until they were responsible enough to use them on their own So when you gave your children the cellphones, how old was your youngest child? I think 13 13? 13, yeah

Today cellphones come in, it's an iPad, it's a tablet, at two and one of the things I've learned so much through all of these experts, that the big take aways are about the fact that parenting cannot be outsourced to a piece of technology Parents are a sacred gift in the life of a child and that we as parents need to model for them how to use technology in a healthy way and be fully present and connected with them so that we can teach them healthy habits and how to be successful adults (audience clapping) I think 13 is a great age, but I think for a lot of kids younger, you're gonna find resistance there, they're gonna want that phone sooner for the simple fact that their friends have their phones That's right How do you address that? Especially with the friends having phones, I've talked to some parents who say, "Well we're just not giving our kids phones, "there's so technology in the house," and sometimes we feel like taking a hammer to our children's smartphones when they get into trouble

But the problem is unless your kids don't have friends, their friends have phones and they're gonna have access to things and so what we felt is just teaching our kids how to drive a car, automobiles are dangerous but they're not going away Neither is technology, so best to teach our kids how to use it responsibly And as a parent when our kids are young, obviously we wanna put a fence around them and protect them from bad things, but ultimately the goal of parenting is we're putting them together to give them away, and we're pointing them to the front door and saying, "God go with you," and we pray for the very best and what we eventually learned is that you can't protect them forever but what you can do is build into their heart, a filter that you can't download through the app store and it's called character Yeah I like that Yeah

(audience clapping) I'll be damned if that's not one of the smartest things that anyone has ever said on this stage, that was really– And who else to teach that but parents Wow Who have hours and hours every day And that's why I think the role is so sacred and so important I'm curious, you interviewed a lot of experts, obviously what this is doing for a child's brain, this is unchartered territory

You, including the neurosurgeon, that's someone you interviewed, tell us about that Yes So I was fortunate enough to have as a friend of mine, Dr Ian Armstrong who is a neurosurgeon, a neuroscientist, he's a researcher of these things and I was amazed to learn how social media is affecting the physiological structure of the brain, particularly the teenage brain I have a lot of skin in that game so I wanted to talk to him and help me understand

And the teenage brain is still developing clearly, it's still plastic, it's still changing, it's moldable I'm interested to hear what effect so much techno, so much social media, does have on the developing brain That's a perfect segue because Dr Armstrong joins us now and Dr Armstrong, thanks for being here

As a neurosurgeon (audience clapping) Obviously you've spent your career (audience clapping) trying to keep brains healthy In your opinion, how are smartphones most affecting our youth? The smartphone is a stimulant They are designed and engineered by these companies to stimulate the brain All the bings and tings and rewards and vibrations are stimulating the brain

Colors Colors Flashing lights, all of these things are stimulating the brain to release dopamine, which is a neuro messenger in the brain that is correlated with the pleasure centers of the brain and reward centers of the brain So it's actually stimulating the neurochemistry of the brain in the same manner that perhaps gambling or pornography would There's a similar response in the reward and pleasure centers of the brain from smartphones and the very carefully calculated stimulus, similar to that of cocaine or drugs

Source: Youtube

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