Advice Here's When Experts Think You Should Let Your Kid Have An iPhone Or Reach Other Milestones  

Donn Saylor
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From learning to walk, to attending the first day of school, to giving valedictory speeches, there is no shortage of developmental milestones in a child's life. Each of these events typically corresponds with a specific age or year. But what are the best ages for certain milestones that are non-developmental in nature?

Much, of course, depends on the individual child. His or her maturity level, social sphere, and exposure to the world are all going to figure in to when he or she should get a smartphone or be allowed to drink soda. There are few hard and fast rules in this area, so it's not uncommon for parents to feel like they're working without a net. Just remember; all expert parenting advice on milestones must be tailored to fit the unique needs of your child.

Different children have different needs, and parents should respond accordingly.

Not All PG-13 Movies Are Appro... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Here's When Experts Think You Should Let Your Kid Have An iPhone Or Reach Other Milestones
Photo: Andreas Praefcke/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Not All PG-13 Movies Are Appropriate For 13 Year Olds

PG-13 movies can vary drastically in terms of mature content. One might have a few choice curse words and nothing more. Another one might have shockingly gratuitous violence. Still another may contain some vaguely sexual suggestions. With content that can run the gamut from virtually squeaky clean to surprisingly adult, is 13 always the appropriate age for when a kid can watch certain films? 

Well, it all depends on how mature the child is. Some kids, for instance, grow up with television and video games; off-color language, sexual scenes, and violent imagery are nothing new for them. But if your child has limited access to popular culture, a PG-13 movie could be extremely intense.

12 Year Olds Can Typically Han... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Here's When Experts Think You Should Let Your Kid Have An iPhone Or Reach Other Milestones
Photo: Android Open Source project/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.5

12 Year Olds Can Typically Handle The Pressures Of A Smartphone

In general, experts tend to think that children between the ages of 12 and 14 can handle the responsibility of a smartphone. The average age for American kids with phones, however, is 10. Chief executive of Influence Central Stacy DeBroff said:

I think that age is going to trend even younger, because parents are getting tired of handing their smartphones to their kids.

But just because that's the average doesn't mean it should be. The first considerations must always focus on the child's maturity and responsibility levels.

It's a highly personal thing, and only a parent can know for sure if his or her child is grown up enough to handle a smartphone.

Children Should Avoid Sugary D... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Here's When Experts Think You Should Let Your Kid Have An iPhone Or Reach Other Milestones
Photo:  Johnson Wen/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Children Should Avoid Sugary Drinks And Soda At All Ages

If you're curious when you can allow your kids to start indulging in soda or other sugary drinks, the expert advice is pretty much universal. In fact, most professionals warn against the indulgence.. Sodas, soft drinks, and the like are the main culprit's in America's childhood obesity epidemic. Medical doctor Goutham Rao shared

Getting kids to avoid sweet drinks - sodas, Gatorade, fruit juice, fruit drink - will help them lose weight... Just that one change will do it.

So, parents, stop children from drinking sugar in the first place to increase their chances for healthy living.

Many Eight Year Olds Are Respo... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Here's When Experts Think You Should Let Your Kid Have An iPhone Or Reach Other Milestones
Photo: Sannse/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Many Eight Year Olds Are Responsible Enough For A Pet

A pet is a welcome and joyous addition to any family. Broadly speaking, eight year olds can typically handle the responsibility of a family animal. They can learn how to interact with the creatures and begin to care for them. But this is still largely determined by the individual child's maturity level.

If they are more responsible and have experience with animals (maybe from living on a farm), children under eight can easily be trusted with pets. Other kids might have to wait a few years after turning eight until becoming responsible enough. And, parents, remember: even if it is the kids' pet, the ultimate responsibility falls to you as the adult.

In other words, if your child is ready for a pet but you're not, then the answer should be no.