Elizabeth Milovidov, PhD, JD (Founder, DigitalParentingCoach.com) and Elizabeth Englander, PhD (Elizabeth Englander, PhD (Executive Director and Founder, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, Professor of Psychology, Bridgewater State University) discuss the signs of emotional regulation that may indicate child readiness for a smartphone at #AskTheExperts webinar “Ready, Set, Smartphone: A Guide for Families” on August 23, 2023.

[Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov] Seeing some of the things that the parents have mentioned in my own community, they’ve talked about emotional regulation. You know, is their child able to handle things that have been said or not said in the smartphone, the text messages, etc.? Are they- are they responsible? Do they understand privacy? Can they handle time management? I think also, do they have social skills? Because are they going to be, you know, how are they going to be texting? What’s going on? And none of this means that if your child doesn’t have these things that they shouldn’t have a smartphone. It just means you can step in and help them a little bit better. But I think those are some of the four or five things that we- that I’ve seen regularly come up.

[Dr. Elizabeth Englander]: That- that’s great. And actually, I can follow up on that a little bit. In our research, one of the things that we have found is that when kids are able to handle- when they have emotional regulation and other things Elizabeth just pointed out, then they’re able to handle conversations about having their own device. You know, many kids become very upset if you begin to talk to them about things like limit setting or other issues that might come up that you want to talk about before they have a device. So sort of gauge how they’re handling these conversations. Are they calm? Are they respectful? Do they understand why there have to be some rules? You know, those are all good indications that a child is more ready. On the other hand, if they’re telling you that you’re horrible and stomping off to their room, then they might not have the emotional regulation yet to really handle this very complex device.

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Ask the Experts—Webinar

Ready, Set, Smartphone: A Guide for Families

How should families determine whether a child is “ready” for a smartphone?

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