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Grade-Schooler Pleads With Mom for a Smartphone

DEAR ABBY: My 8-year-old daughter keeps asking me for a smartphone. I'm at a loss about who she would call besides me and her dad. She points out these different kids her age who have phones. They are the same kids I view as ones who will have no curfew, boyfriends at 12 and parents who aren't as involved as we are. At what age do you feel kids should have smartphones? -- INVOLVED PARENT

DEAR INVOLVED PARENT: I don't think there is a magic number, but your daughter is definitely too young to have one. Smartphones can be dangerous when they are used irresponsibly. A flip phone, perhaps, for her to contact you in case of emergencies, might be appropriate.

Because her friends have smartphones is not a valid reason for her to have one. Before that happens, you must be confident that it will be used responsibly, and that you and her father will be able to review its history.

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