We love when parents ask us “how do I know if my kid is ready for a cell phone?” It means you’re conscientious, caring, and involved — and of course, want to make sure that you’re raising a kid to make good choices, and not who isn’t thrown into something they can’t handle before their time.

We’ve written a lot over the years about ways to know your kid is ready for a cell phone, and even how to put together a cell phone contract for your child once you’ve decided to take the plunge. But this past week, on Spawned with Kristen + Liz, we had the pleasure of getting another perspective.

Or really, the same perspective, but presented in a smart, helpfully concise way, thanks to our guest. Diana Graber. She’s the founder of CyberWise and the CyberCivics curriculum, and author of Raising Responsible Citizens in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology.


7 questions to help you figure out if a kid is ready for a cell phone.


Tech expert Diana Graber's 7 questions to ask to know if your child is ready for a smartphone | Cool Mom Tech + Spawned Parenting Podcast


1. Do they have great social skills?

2. Can they manage their online reputation?

3.  Can they have safe relationships?

4.  Do they know how to unplug?

5. Can they protect their online privacy?

6. Do they know how to think critically?

7. Can they be good digital leaders?


Now certainly not all kids will have mastered these skills — most adults haven’t either. But it’s a terrific way to get you thinking about whether your kid is ready for a cell phone — beyond “well they keep stealing mine to play Roblox.”

For more details, take a listen to our Spawned Parenting Podcast interview with Diana on How To Raise Good Digital Citizens.

And be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! We talk to so many experts about so many of the topics parents care about, and Kristen and I learn from them every week.


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Keiji Sojobe on making STEM more accessible to girls

Michelle Icard on 14 talks to have before your child turns 14

Jordan Shapiro on what we get wrong about kids and tech

Catherine Newman on how to raise responsible, independent kids

Lynn Burrell on managing discipline

Pete McNerney and Beth Newell of Story Pirates on raising creative kids in a digital world

Instagram, girls and body image: What parents need to know

Why we need to stop freaking out about kids and social media