American children are ready for their first cellphone at age 12, according to new research.
By this age, they should already be packing their own lunch, walking to and from the bus stop, and completing school projects independently.
At age 13, kids should begin to earn their own money, become ready to stay home alone, and be responsible enough to use the Internet unsupervised.
That's according to a survey of 2,000 leading decision-makers—also known as Moms.
Overwhelmingly—in 78 percent of American families—mothers are the primary manager of their children's "firsts", and will play the leading role in organizing and overseeing their kids' paths to independence.
Eighty-four percent of Moms report being the parent primarily responsible for getting kids to and from school. Eighty-two percent are in charge of children's homework time. Seventy-three percent are in charge of setting and enforcing rules at home, while 81 percent take the lead on vetting media and internet consumption.
The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of smart home technology brand Alarm.com, found that compared to their partners, Moms are also primarily responsible for listening and talking through problems and worries (85 percent), refereeing arguments (77 percent), and making sure play dates and social activities happen (82 percent).
Says Anne Ferguson, VP of marketing at Alarm.com:
"While we typically appreciate that Moms are busy, the skill and effort it takes to manage a young family is underappreciated. Moms have to be coaches—directing and empowering their kids into independence—and also protectors, ensuring that children are safe, well and thriving. What's more, most Moms combine this role with a full-time job outside of the home."
In a typical week, family management tasks take up to 36 (unpaid) hours of Mom-management, and often clash with other responsibilities. Of Moms who work full or part-time, 53 percent report that managing their family at times comes into conflict with work responsibilities.
Says Alarm.com's Anne Ferguson:
"Managing children as a working Mom requires a network of family and trusted friends, as well as technology that keeps you in touch. We see more and more working Moms using our smart home security app to stay connected to older children after school, with features like no-show alerts, remote lock control and doorbell cameras offering certainty that kids are safe when home alone."
The good news: Sixty-six percent of mothers feel that their children already appreciate everything they do for them, while an additional seven percent understand that they will one day.