Let’s Make Getting a Smartphone a ‘Milestone Moment’

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I’ve been thinking about how to help parents delay giving their child a Smartphone and I thought about my own kid’s milestones.

Childhood is a kaleidoscope of experiences, a journey punctuated by significant milestones that shape our children isn’t it?  From their first tentative steps to the exhilarating triumphs of independence, these moments mark the passage of time and development.

Each milestone is a testament to growth, resilience, and the boundless capacity for learning inherent in every child.

Indulge me as we embark on a nostalgic exploration of some of the most cherished milestone moments in childhood and start to think about creating a NEW tradition – delaying the rite of passage to getting a smartphone to the age of 14.

You know the reasons why this generation of children suffer from phone addiction and mental health problems, cyberbullying, anxiety, isolation, vocabulary and language delay and come across damaging content from porn to predators online.

Encouraging free play, outdoor activities and conversations you can change the narrative for your child.

You can delay scrolling and enjoy more rolling down hills, getting muddy, climbing trees, riding bikes and playing with friends – making real memories that will last them a lifetime and put a protective barrier around their mental health.

Download my free guide about how to talk to your kids about delaying getting a smartphone and do one small thing for me please

Tell another person – tell a friend, tell a mum at the school gate, tell a dad at the park – spread this really important message about delaying NOT denying children smartphones until they are 14.

Let’s look back with misty eyes on some fond family milestones.

First Steps:

The iconic moment when a baby takes their first steps is a monumental occasion for both child and parent and the whole family. It signifies the beginning of a newfound sense of mobility and independence, as well as a glimpse into the adventurous spirit that lies ahead.

First Words:

Uttering those first words is a momentous achievement that heralds the emergence of language and communication skills. From simple syllables to full sentences, each word spoken is a triumph of comprehension and expression. You can remember their first word I bet can’t you and what that meant to you?

Starting School:

The first day of school is a blend of excitement and trepidation as children embark on a new chapter of their lives. It represents not only academic learning but also a social development milestone, as they navigate friendships and encounters with peers and teachers. It’s a big day of independence for them and a big moment of letting go for you. I can still remember my first day as I hid behind my Mum’s skirt in the  playground waiting for the rather formidable Mrs. Mason to take us all into class for the first time.

Learning to Ride a Bike:

Mastering the art of riding a bike is a rite of passage for many children, symbolising freedom, confidence, and perseverance. It’s a milestone that fosters a sense of adventure and exploration of the world far beyond the confines of home.

Losing a Tooth:

The anticipation of a wobbly tooth and the subsequent visit from the tooth fairy are cherished memories aren’t they? Each lost tooth signifies growth and transformation, as children eagerly await the arrival of their permanent teeth and I remember that toothy grin from my daughter Molly in school photos!

Performing in a School Play:

Stepping onto the stage for the first time is a thrilling experience that builds confidence and creativity. Whether it’s a starring role or a supporting part, participating in a school play fosters self-expression and teamwork. I can still see my son Will with a tea towel on his head as Joseph in his Reception Class Nativity Play!

Riding the School Bus Alone:

Boarding the school bus solo is a milestone that signifies increasing independence and responsibility. It’s a moment of pride for both your child and you as a  parent, marking a new level of autonomy in their beginnings of navigating the world on their own.

Graduating from Primary School:

Graduating from Primary School is a bittersweet moment that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It’s a time for reflection, celebration, and anticipation of the adventures that lie ahead in Secondary School.




This is the moment most kids get their first Smartphone – this is the moment I want you to pause to ponder and delay not deny – they are not ready to explore the internet in the palm of their hand – they won’t see the dangers or the pitfalls they’ll see the bright lights, the funny videos on TikTok, the celebrities with picture perfect bodies and lifestyles on Instagram, they’ll get trapped in algorithms they have no idea they are being manipulated by – all at 11 or 12?

This is when they get addicted to sharing the minutiae of their lives on Whatsapp, receiving hundreds of messages in an hour and start uploading every minute of their lives to strangers.

Winning an Award:

Whether it’s a spelling trophy or a sports award, winning recognition for achievements is a significant milestone in childhood. It instills a sense of pride and accomplishment, fueling motivation for future endeavours. Watching your child’s self esteem blossom is such a wonderful thing isn’t it?

 Moving to a New Home:

While moving can be a daunting experience, it also presents opportunities for your child’s growth, flexibility and resilience. Adjusting to a new environment develops resourcefulness, as children forge new friendships and routines. and embrace change.

Making a Best Friend:

The bond forged with a best friend is a cornerstone of childhood, offering so many lovely opportunities for companionship, support, and shared adventures. It’s a milestone that cultivates empathy, loyalty, and the joy of shared experiences and lots of special memories.

Leaving School:

Leaving school is a momentous occasion that marks the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. It’s a time for reflection on accomplishments and anticipation of the journey ahead, whether it’s pursuing higher education, entering the workforce, or embarking on new adventures.

In the tapestry of childhood, these milestone moments are threads that weave together the story of growth, discovery, and resilience. They serve as markers of progress and transformation, reminding us of the boundless potential inherent in every child and hope for their future.

As I reflect on these cherished memories of my own children’s lives, let’s all celebrate the journey of childhood and create a new milestone – the delaying of giving them a smartphone too easily and too soon.



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