Parents Weigh In: What's the Right Age for Kids to ...
Start watching TV, choose their own clothes, have a cell phone, wear makeup, and stay home alone? Knowing when your child is ready for these responsibilities really comes down to knowing your child, but seeing how other parents weigh in can give valuable perspective. Take our polls and see how your parenting choices compare!
...Start Watching TV
Turning on the tube for babies is somewhat taboo. The AAP strongly discourages TV viewing for tots under age 2. But is that realistic for the average family? Also, when (if ever) is it okay for kids to have a TV in their bedroom?
...Begin Potty Training
Potty training puts your child on the path to becoming a "big boy" or "big girl," but it's tricky knowing when to get started.
...Earn an Allowance
Many parents wonder if and when children should be paid to do their chores — and also how much to pay. One rule of thumb many experts recommend is a weekly allowance based on age. So, say, $7 a week for a 7-year-old.
...Choose Their Own Clothes
With more children's clothing companies than ever, it's common for kids to have their own unique style. But are you cool with your kid being the next kitten-heeled kindergartener like Suri Cruise?
...Pick Their Own Hairstyle
Kids can have pretty strong opinions when it comes to their coif, which can lead to power struggles over bangs, pixie cuts, mohawks, and more.
...Have a Cell Phone
This is one of the trickiest questions of modern parenting: When should my child get a cell phone? There are many pros and cons to giving kids a cell phone and allowing them to take it to school, so it's a tough call.
...Stay Home Alone
Your child's maturity level and other factors such as neighborhood safety, medical conditions, sibling age(s), and how long you'll be gone are big factors when deciding whether you can leave your child home alone.
...Be Dropped Off at the Mall with Friends
Much to Mom and Dad's dismay, there comes a time when it's just "not cool" to go to the mall, the movies, or Main Street with parents. But safety is always a concern.
Your child will always look perfect au naturale to you. But, at a certain age, she (and her ever-important peers) might be drawn to makeup. Some parents are strict when it comes to cosmetics, while others are more open to it — especially if a tastefully done "face" boosts a teen's self-esteem.
Eek! Tween and teen romance is enough to put any parent on edge. Protective parents might joke that their child is off-limits from dating until age 25, but with many kids hitting puberty by age 10, how realistic is that? So, when is it okay for kids to date and, let's face it, kiss? (P.S.- Here are some tips for talking about puberty and safe sex.)
...Get a Body Piercing
Never! We hear you; for some parents, a body-altering piercing or tattoo is totally out of the question for their kids. But, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 30 percent of people with a body piercing and 16 percent of people with a tattoo got their first piercing or tattoo by age 18. Fortunately, most states have laws that require parental consent for minors to get "body art."
Are Kids Growing Up Too Fast?
Wow — that was a whirlwind of some of the tough questions you'll probably encounter as a parent. That brings us to one final question: Are today's kids growing up too fast?
Have another idea for a poll you would like us to pose to parents? Please leave a comment.