Pledge asks parents to not buy smartphones for children under 13

Pledge asks parents to not buy smartphones for children under 13
Posted at 4:38 AM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 06:16:56-04

SUMMIT, NJ (WCBS/CNN) - Thousands of parents are signing a pledge not to buy smartphones for their kids until they are in eighth grade.

Jim Lees and his son Quentin just happened to be on their way to get a new cell phone for the 12-year-old. The boy accidentally left it in his pocket and it went in the washing machine.

Lees said it was a family decision for his children to have cell phones.

"Part of it was logistics activities taking them here and there picking them up and coordinating," Lees said.

Other families nationwide are signing up for the "Wait Until 8th Pledge."

The pledge is designed to flip the script on peer pressure.

The idea is to get ten other families in your area to sign up so your child is not the only one without a smartphone under the age of 13.

"With the smartphone comes social media access to viewing thing kids may not need to see," clinical social worker Tammy Gold said.

Some of the parents said sure, it’s a great idea but it may be unrealistic.

Danielle Reising recognizes the advantages and disadvantages.

"We were trying to hold off as long as possible, unfortunately I think socially that's how the kids communicate," Reising said. "In a town like this when they come downtown, it's useful because there are no pay phones left for the kids to call to say I'm here, I'm there."

Some people said children are too wrapped up in the technology and need to socialize without the devices.

Parents are still encouraged to sign the pledge even if their child has a basic flip phone, as long as its limited to only calls or texts.

The Wait Until 8th web page has collected signatures from2,000 families so far.

Copyright 2017 WCBS via CNN. All rights reserved.