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295: My Mistakes About Giving My Kids Phones

As a mom, figuring out when to give my kids a phone has been one of the hardest topics to tackle.

While there have been conveniences once they got a phone, like being able to know where they are at all times and reach them if I need to, the cons have far outweighed the pros in my family. 

A phone is the default way lots of kids stay in touch, organize activities, and learn about the world. But it can also suck them into the online world, and make it harder for them to engage in reality.

So this week, I sat down with my youngest kid, Cory, and talked about this hot topic: 

  • What age to give a kid a phone
  • What type of phone
  • Social Media access
  • How a parent should handle all the common arguments kids often give

At 18, Cory is old enough to see both the pros and cons and can vividly remember how his first smartphone changed his life. 

I had so much fun getting his perspective on this question and even putting him in the hot seat – weighing in on how he’d handle it with a badgering teen, claiming that EVERYONE has a phone and blah blah blah.

When it comes to technology, it’s like the wild wild west for parents. I think I’d do things differently if I had to do it all over again…especially based on my own kid’s advice!

Cory and I discuss what kinds of changes happen in the life – and mind – of a kid when they get their first smartphone, how to decide when they’re ready to handle those changes, and how to (and how not to) talk to your kids about the limits around smartphones.

As always, thanks for listening. Head over to Facebook, where you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community. We post tips and tools and do pop-up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!


About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.


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Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

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MMP 295

[00:00:00] Randi Rubenstein: My name is Randi Rubenstein, and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast. At Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them. 

Hi everyone. Hi everyone. I’m here with, introduce yourself. 

[00:00:19] Cory Rubenstein: My name is Cory Don Rubenstein. Leader of this household 

[00:00:25] Randi Rubenstein: Leader, also baby of this household. Baby of this household that doesn’t look like such a baby anymore. He’s graduating high school tomorrow, no two days in two days and He is here out of the goodness of his heart Because we’ve had many requests from my mastermind errs to record an episode about when kids should get You Phones and all things around middle school, high school, phone, social media. So we’re going to have a conversation. 

[00:01:04] Cory Rubenstein: I kind of forgot. 

[00:01:06] Randi Rubenstein: I know he’s been asking me all afternoon. He’s been dragging his feet. He’s cause he’s legitimately has a lot on his plate. He just got home from a month long

[00:01:15] Cory Rubenstein: legitimately 

[00:01:16] Randi Rubenstein: legitimately. He just got home from a month long school trip.

 If you notice all the doggy shenanigans whenever Cory comes into my space or I go into his space these girls get very excited. They 

[00:01:29] Cory Rubenstein: have to start fighting They 

[00:01:30] Randi Rubenstein: have to start fighting anybody who watches these recordings normally just sees me recording and them sleeping But they love, they love all this.

It’s like a celebrity guest. Should I 

[00:01:42] Cory Rubenstein: fill them in on why the video probably cut? 

[00:01:47] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:01:47] Cory Rubenstein: Because Hazel knocked over the Stanley Cup and ice was everywhere. 

[00:01:51] Randi Rubenstein: Ice was everywhere. Um, okay, now we’re going to have to either lock them up or put them on the couch with us. 

[00:01:59] Cory Rubenstein: Let’s lock them up. 

[00:02:00] Randi Rubenstein: You don’t want to just have them up here with us?

[00:02:02] Cory Rubenstein: Okay. 

[00:02:02] Randi Rubenstein: Girls, come here. Hey, come here.

[00:02:10] Cory Rubenstein: Come here. 

[00:02:12] Randi Rubenstein: You have to pick her up. Come here, Cheryl.

Yeah, this is a much more interesting. Okay. So, Cory legitimately has a lot going on. He just got back from a school trip. He’s graduating in two days, then he leaves. He has to have all of his stuff. He’s going to be a counselor at camp, um, packed up, ready to be shipped off tomorrow. So it’s been fast and furious. And then he goes and is a counselor for a bunch of little kids for a month. 

[00:02:50] Cory Rubenstein: And now I just got switched to the youngest age group. 

[00:02:53] Randi Rubenstein: Put the microphone maybe a little closer. Like here? Yeah, probably. Well, yeah, like here. 

[00:02:58] Cory Rubenstein: It was pretty close. 

[00:02:59] Randi Rubenstein: Oh, you did get switched to the youngest age group? Well, 

[00:03:01] Cory Rubenstein: no, not officially, but probably.

[00:03:04] Randi Rubenstein: He was with the youngest age group two years ago. I thought you were excellent with them. 

[00:03:08] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, I was. 

[00:03:09] Randi Rubenstein: Um, okay. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Today we are talking about technology, getting phones. And since he is officially 18 and he’s ready to, he sees the light, I’ve pulled back the curtain a little bit, explaining some of my rhyme and reason, um, for doing things.

Um, and I really want you to teach us, um, what you think would knowing what you know now. And because, I mean, the parents were in an impossible position because you either don’t get your kid the phone and then you worry that they’re going to feel left out or you get your kid the phone 

[00:04:05] Cory Rubenstein: and they resent you.

[00:04:07] Randi Rubenstein: And they resent you later, because Why? 

[00:04:12] Cory Rubenstein: Because 

[00:04:15] Randi Rubenstein: Let’s go lock him up.

[00:04:17] Cory Rubenstein: I think it’s fine. Just edit it a little. Just splice it. It’s not that hard. Every YouTuber does it.

[00:04:30] Randi Rubenstein: Okay, so Yeah, tell us about the resentment. Oh, sorry. Oh boring topic. 

[00:04:37] Cory Rubenstein: No, I’m just a little tired. 

[00:04:38] Randi Rubenstein: I hope our listeners aren’t bored

[00:04:44] Cory Rubenstein: Um, I Have talked to my friends about it and they all can agree that we wish we got our phones later 

[00:04:54] Randi Rubenstein: When? 

[00:04:56] Cory Rubenstein: I would say either eighth or ninth grade because we are we all agreed that your childhood ends when you get your phone. And like there’s just a sort of like innocence and Like aspect of just I don’t know your youth that’s gone when you get a phone 

[00:05:21] Randi Rubenstein: Well, can you expand on that?

[00:05:23] Cory Rubenstein: I don’t know like like childhood memories when I think of childhood memories, they’re all until I like had a phone. And I just feel like when you have a phone you’re you you don’t you say you’re not going to get sucked into social media or whatever. And like, and you can start by not, you’ll, you’ll have like the restrictions and whatever that y’all are putting on the phones where it’s like, Oh, you can have Snapchat until this grade, or you can have Instagram, but every kid gets past that every kid secretly has Snapchat or Instagram.

And it, it’s just all brain rot. Like it’s just, and it just, I don’t know, like. It’s, it’s like, uh, it’s like, I like, you like gained this weird consciousness when you get a phone. That’s like not there before. And it’s literally, I think that your childhood ends when you get a phone. So I wish I didn’t get it until high school, 

[00:06:26] Randi Rubenstein: High school.

[00:06:27] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. Yeah. That’s, but I do think you need a flip phone or some sort of communication. You can’t have no phone in middle school. Like you have to have a flip phone at least or something 

[00:06:39] Randi Rubenstein: So that people can make plans with you? 

[00:06:41] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, cuz if you’re being left out then it’s not worth it. But like yeah, if you have a number To text or whatever, and it’s fine.

[00:06:52] Randi Rubenstein: What do you think some of the moms came up with this idea? Apple watch.

[00:07:00] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, I guess. 

[00:07:01] Randi Rubenstein: I thought that was kind of, 

[00:07:02] Cory Rubenstein: I’ve never had an Apple watch. 

[00:07:03] Randi Rubenstein: I thought it was a good compromise because they, and I know there’s other brands of watches because you get a phone number, you can receive texts. 

[00:07:11] Cory Rubenstein: It’s so hard to text on there though, isn’t it? 

[00:07:13] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, but 

[00:07:14] Cory Rubenstein: such a small little screen 

[00:07:16] Randi Rubenstein: still people can reach you. You can respond, but it doesn’t have, you’re not scrolling on social media on an Apple watch. 

[00:07:24] Cory Rubenstein: What if you just don’t get a, like, uh, actually, I don’t know. 

[00:07:30] Randi Rubenstein: Think about it. Like if you’re the one kid with the flip phone and, and you, and you’re around all the kids that have computers, I

[00:07:37] Cory Rubenstein: feel like it’s weirder to be the one kid I would rather, I want to be the kid with the flip phone. That’s way cooler. 

[00:07:42] Randi Rubenstein: You can say that now. But if you go back to your 6th grade, 7th grade self. 

[00:07:47] Cory Rubenstein: I think it’s weirder to be the one kid with the Apple Watch than the one kid with the flip phone. 

[00:07:53] Randi Rubenstein: You do? 

[00:07:54] Cory Rubenstein: Well, I guess more than one kid has an Apple Watch. I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve never thought about just using an Apple Watch.

I know. It sounds really difficult. But a number and everything on it. 

[00:08:06] Randi Rubenstein: But it, you have a number and

[00:08:08] Cory Rubenstein: What if you get a phone with, where it can only text? Isn’t that a thing? 

[00:08:14] Randi Rubenstein: Have you ever tried to text on a flip phone? 

[00:08:18] Cory Rubenstein: No, no, no, no, like, like, isn’t there a way to get like an iPhone where if you like remove the something?

[00:08:24] Randi Rubenstein: That’s the problem is that kids get all around it And I think it’s just you know, if you’re not gonna give your kid a device but you want to get but you still want and there’s some other kind of watch some gadget that a mom told me about I think the watch is a decent compromise. 

[00:08:42] Cory Rubenstein: You have all these people walking around their kids have watches on.

[00:08:46] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, 

[00:08:46] Cory Rubenstein: That’s weird. 

[00:08:47] Randi Rubenstein: Why is it weird? 

[00:08:49] Cory Rubenstein: That just seems weird to me. I just, I don’t know. I don’t think that would be a real solution. 

[00:08:54] Randi Rubenstein: Do you think that you think a flip phone is cool at this age because you like things that are retro? 

[00:09:01] Cory Rubenstein: No, I don’t think a flip phone is cool. I just think it’s a way better solution than a watch. It’s just less. I don’t know. Only having an Apple watch is cringe in my opinion. 

[00:09:12] Randi Rubenstein: It is? 

[00:09:13] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:09:14] Randi Rubenstein: Even if you’re like in sixth or seventh grade? 

[00:09:17] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:09:18] Randi Rubenstein: Eighth grade. 

[00:09:19] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:09:20] Randi Rubenstein: So 

[00:09:21] Cory Rubenstein: Remember that kid that I love that Avery was friends with that only had a Flip phone until ninth grade or or no until well, that was way too long Yeah, he didn’t get it until like senior year. What was his name? 

[00:09:33] Randi Rubenstein: We’re not gonna say his name on the podcast. 

[00:09:35] Cory Rubenstein: Oh, is he listening? 

[00:09:37] Randi Rubenstein: I mean No You never know. So, okay. So let’s go back to I think this is the problem is that You’ve got a kid, and they’re begging you, and I’m the only one, I’m the only kid, all my friends have it. 

[00:09:54] Cory Rubenstein: So they fuck off. 

[00:09:55] Randi Rubenstein: Well. 

[00:09:57] Cory Rubenstein: And just tell them to, I don’t know, text on a different thing. If they have a, won’t they have a computer probably for school?

[00:10:08] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:10:08] Cory Rubenstein: So why can’t they just text on that? Actually, that would kind of suck. 

[00:10:14] Randi Rubenstein: So you’re now, you’re like, you shouldn’t have gotten me the phone until ninth grade, but now when you’re trying to problem solve it, you see that it’s a complex conversation and issue. 

[00:10:26] Cory Rubenstein: No, I think if you got a flip phone and I would just, if I had to just deal with it, I would have been fine.

[00:10:31] Randi Rubenstein: So if you get a flip phone, it sort of forces kids, I don’t know, tell me if you agree, to have to have conversations. Like call. Like when you want to reach your friend because it’s such a pain in the butt to text on, if you want to reach your friend or your friend wants to reach you, you have to actually call them.

[00:10:50] Cory Rubenstein: That’s probably good. 

[00:10:52] Randi Rubenstein: Do you think that would have helped with some of the lagging skills that people your age have around? 

[00:11:01] Cory Rubenstein: I don’t know what you’re talking about. 

[00:11:02] Randi Rubenstein: About, about having to have like make a haircut reservation, I mean, uh, appointment or call someone. You know, when you say like, so what should I say again? Like, do you think as an 18 year old, you’d be saying, so what should I say again, if you had had been having phone calls as your main source of communication with your friends since sixth grade? 

[00:11:26] Cory Rubenstein: Um, no, it’s probably, yeah, it’s probably helpful. 

[00:11:30] Randi Rubenstein: Right. Like give kids more interpersonal skills. Yeah. So maybe it’s the flip phone that is difficult to text on. And so if they want to reach their friends or their friends want to reach them, they just have to give them a phone call. 

[00:11:47] Cory Rubenstein: Mm hmm. Are we gonna do a whole podcast about this? I could give you the solution in like 20 seconds. 

[00:11:53] Randi Rubenstein: Okay, let me hear 

[00:11:55] Cory Rubenstein: um, give your kid a flip phone until ninth grade because it’s good for communication and it doesn’t have their childhood end, and by 12th grade they’ll be thanking you. 

[00:12:04] Randi Rubenstein: Okay, and what do they say to their kid when their kid is in the sixth grade brain and they’re like I hate you. Why do you, you’re making my life so difficult. You’re the only mom. Why do you have so many rules? It’s the worst family ever. Um, what do you say? 

[00:12:23] Cory Rubenstein: You could say, uh, I don’t know. I think you might just have to deal with that one. 

[00:12:30] Randi Rubenstein: So how do you deal with it? What is, what is the, what is the parent think that helps them to deal and not become reactive or give in? 

[00:12:40] Cory Rubenstein: That, even though you might be the worst parent, every, every kid has thought, at some point, they go into their room and they do that thing where they slam the door or whatever and then they stand in their room and they go like, they like talk to themselves and say, I hate my mom. And that’s gonna happen anyways, but I think you just have to keep in your mind that eventually your kid will be thankful and will end up being a good kid and I think it’s worth it. Even if they’re mad for when they’re like 13 years old, it doesn’t really end up mattering. 

[00:13:14] Randi Rubenstein: Okay. So if anybody’s watching this video, see what Stella just did, how she had to crawl up next to Cory’s face.

[00:13:20] Cory Rubenstein: That’s how she sleeps too. 

[00:13:21] Randi Rubenstein: That’s how she sleeps. Like on his pillow. On, she’s now like, I wish y’all could see her face. She’s so, she looks so relaxed. So. So wait, so the parent thinks what? I, I disassociated and I didn’t hear that part. Put the microphone near your mouth. 

[00:13:42] Cory Rubenstein: I just said the whole spiel, so I don’t, don’t exactly remember what I just said.

[00:13:46] Randi Rubenstein: So what does a parent think when their kid’s, like, when you know your kid is hating your guts and mad that you’re not getting them the thing that they want, where, 

[00:13:54] Cory Rubenstein: How are you gonna disassociate during your own podcast? 

[00:13:57] Randi Rubenstein:

[00:13:57] Cory Rubenstein: dunno, 

Um, they, they just have to think, well, I don’t know. It’s obviously hard. It takes a lot of, hopefully all the listeners are pretty mature, but, um, it just takes a lot of like, if, if my kid’s going to be like, my kid’s going to be thankful in the future. So I just have to deal with this kind of pain right now. 

[00:14:23] Randi Rubenstein: Short term pain for long term gain. 

[00:14:25] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. On God. 

[00:14:26] Randi Rubenstein: On God. Um, all right. So the parent masters their mind and remembers you’re playing the long game. 

[00:14:36] Cory Rubenstein: Just yeah, try not to fold even if you’re, I don’t know if your kid’s being evil then I don’t know I don’t really know. I’ve never parented anyone. 

[00:14:47] Randi Rubenstein: But you’ve been a kid, and you have been evil. 

[00:14:51] Cory Rubenstein: No. 

[00:14:52] Randi Rubenstein: At times. 

[00:14:54] Cory Rubenstein: Well, I’m usually right when I’m evil. But yeah, I don’t know. It’s. I don’t know that seems hard if your kid’s mad at you. Like, 

[00:15:09] Randi Rubenstein: you’re about to be the parent of ten kids. 

[00:15:12] Cory Rubenstein: Okay, but these kids I don’t really care about as much as my own kid. 

[00:15:19] Randi Rubenstein: But they’re gonna be badgering you about things. 

[00:15:21] Cory Rubenstein: Like, like with Bobby two years ago when I was a camp counselor and he’s like pestering me the whole time. He’s like, let me call my mom. I need to go home. I need to go home. It was kind of like, like I talked him through it and I explained my reasoning for why he should stay and I like just leveled with them. And if, and then eventually it was a little short term pain. Cause I was like, dang, this kid’s so cute and he’s upset all the time and he doesn’t want to be here.

But I knew his long term gain. Cause if he stayed at camp, he was going to be like happy. So then he stuck it out. And by the end he was happy and was thanking me for a commitment or for, for like, and like wishing that he was staying longer at camp than he was. So I think even if your kid’s all upset at one moment, it’s not going to last.

[00:16:08] Randi Rubenstein: So you just like listen to him and then you leveled with him. 

[00:16:12] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, if you level your chill. 

[00:16:13] Randi Rubenstein: So how did so you told the truth, you love you listened to bobby and then you leveled. 

[00:16:18] Cory Rubenstein: You just have to explain to your kid. Like, don’t keep it in your head. Don’t be like, oh, I’m like plotting and I’m gonna make it so that he’s like this perfect little angel that like, like you can say to your kid, like your childhood ends when you get a phone. Like they’ll probably understand. I don’t know. They’re smarter than you think, you know? 

[00:16:40] Randi Rubenstein: Okay, so you be the parent and I’ll be the kid and I’ll give a normal argument. Why? Why can’t I have it? I don’t understand. All my friends have it. You’re so mean. You have so many rules around technology. Don’t let me play my video games whenever I want. Like, all my friends, they have, it’s, they have it so much better. I just, I hate this family. 

[00:17:02] Cory Rubenstein: Um, well, I don’t know, that’s pretty hard. 

[00:17:05] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:17:06] Cory Rubenstein: Um, I’d just be like, I know it’s really hard right now, and you feel like you might get left out of things, and that everyone else has it. But um, I don’t know. I don’t know. Like, you’ll be, I think you’ll be really grateful in the future that you waited a little to get a phone and, and don’t think of it as like having a flip phone or a watch makes you like different from everyone else. It just, I don’t know, you get to enjoy your childhood for longer than everyone else does. They just have to rot away their brains earlier. Which a kid might not understand that. But I don’t know, just being truthful. Don’t lie. 

[00:17:51] Randi Rubenstein: I’m not going to rot away my brain. I don’t even know what you’re talking about, mom. Dad. I’ll make you a dad. 

[00:17:57] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:17:58] Randi Rubenstein: I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I’m not going to rot away my brain and I’m not going to be addicted to it.

[00:18:02] Cory Rubenstein: I can be mom. 

[00:18:03] Randi Rubenstein: Mom, I don’t, I’m not going to be addicted to it. I’m just, I’m going to be responsible and I’m not going to be on it all the time and I don’t even know what you mean by my childhood ends. That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard. 

[00:18:17] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, that is the dumbest thing you ever heard. You’re right. You can have a phone. That’s what I would do. 

[00:18:25] Randi Rubenstein: Right. That’s why this is so hard. That’s why this is so hard. 

[00:18:29] Cory Rubenstein: You just be like, listen here you little fuck. Oh, I can’t say that. Is this PG? 

[00:18:38] Randi Rubenstein: No, you can, but some people might wanna have their kids wi Oh, listen, although, oops.

[00:18:43] Cory Rubenstein: Trigger warning. Um, TW as the abrevers say. 

[00:18:49] Randi Rubenstein: TW. 

[00:18:50] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:18:50] Randi Rubenstein: I didn’t know that. I like it. 

[00:18:52] Cory Rubenstein: Abrevers. Do you get that? 

[00:18:54] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:18:54] Cory Rubenstein: Because I abbreviated it.

[00:18:55] Randi Rubenstein: I think I came up with that. 

[00:18:56] Cory Rubenstein: No, JP did. 

[00:18:58] Randi Rubenstein: I’ve been using it since I was a child. 

[00:19:00] Cory Rubenstein: Um, wait, where were we? 

[00:19:04] Randi Rubenstein: So, 

[00:19:04] Cory Rubenstein: oh yeah. What do you say? I don’t know. It’s pretty 

[00:19:09] Randi Rubenstein: hard. I’m not going to rot my brain. I’m going to be so good. Okay, can I answer? 

[00:19:13] Cory Rubenstein: Don’t hit them with the, this is something not to do. 

[00:19:17] Randi Rubenstein: Okay. 

[00:19:17] Cory Rubenstein: Class. Don’t say, um, studies show that the earlier you get your brain, like, don’t say something like that. Don’t say like based on doctors or something. Just like base it on the real world, you know, that’s not good.

[00:19:35] Randi Rubenstein: What do you think about this? I believe. That you believe that and I trust you to do what you say you’re going to do. The part of that I don’t trust is the teenager part of you that is not going to be able to hold back. Even though you think you’re going to hold back. It’s too difficult. 

It’s difficult for adults. How could we expect kids to have to be able to manage this? Most adults are addicted to their phones. So if we, if I just give you a little extra time. I know it doesn’t feel fair, but I promise you I’m making this hard decision because I want to preserve your childhood and your brain and, and all the things that you’re going to forget about once you have that device in your hand all the time. And I know it might not make sense, but I think it might make sense at some point. 

[00:20:32] Cory Rubenstein: Mm hmm. 

[00:20:33] Randi Rubenstein: What do you think? 

[00:20:34] Cory Rubenstein: It’s pretty chill. That’s good. It’s also like, it’s like all the things that you like I feel like when you get a, when you get a phone like all the things that used to be really good are like, 

[00:20:48] Randi Rubenstein: Give us some examples. 

[00:20:49] Cory Rubenstein: Like Halloween. Like Halloween goes from these like weird memories in the back of your brain of like this I don’t know. It’s just like childhood memories, like it’s hard to explain how they feel. But like then they go to like Oh, what am I, what picture am I going to send to my friends that I’m wearing like like and it turns into this whole thing. It’s not even like social media. It’s just that like 

[00:21:15] Randi Rubenstein: You stop being in a moment because you’re just thinking about 

[00:21:18] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah 

[00:21:19] Randi Rubenstein: capturing the moment 

[00:21:21] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, 

[00:21:21] Randi Rubenstein: for like you’re creating content. You just become, 

[00:21:23] Cory Rubenstein: Your life, yeah, your life is just content at that point, which I kind of love. 

[00:21:28] Randi Rubenstein: So you go from being a child to a content creator. 

[00:21:33] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, and eventually your childhood should end. Maybe it should be actually yeah, maybe ninth grade. Maybe like eighth grade 

[00:21:40] Randi Rubenstein: Eighth grade. 

[00:21:41] Cory Rubenstein: Because your childhood doesn’t need to last till ninth grade because you’re in high school. Like, you don’t want to be super immature. 

[00:21:47] Randi Rubenstein: Well, there is a, I mean, I don’t think you’re wrong on that. There’s a whole movement of parents who do this, they sign this pledge, wait until eighth. And it’s wait until eighth for a phone. 

[00:21:59] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah. I think I’m one of those. 

[00:22:01] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. Yeah. You. 

[00:22:03] Cory Rubenstein: I would sign that pledge. 

[00:22:05] Randi Rubenstein: Wait until eighth. So sixth and seventh, it’s still like a lot of kids haven’t 

[00:22:11] Cory Rubenstein: Sixth and seventh grade, you’re still a little baby. Eighth grade, you’re kind of an evil little human. And then ninth grade, you’re kind of like, it’s like Bryce. Think about Bryce. 

[00:22:21] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:22:22] Cory Rubenstein: Not to name drop, but is that really illegal? 

[00:22:25] Randi Rubenstein: It’s not illegal. 

[00:22:26] Cory Rubenstein: You probably name dropped my name.

[00:22:28] Randi Rubenstein: I’ve name dropped your name a million times. That’s why you’re here. What do you want to call me right now? What’d you call me recently, a cringelord? 

[00:22:40] Cory Rubenstein: No. 

[00:22:40] Randi Rubenstein: Mm hmm. Cringelord. Um, okay, so you have to be willing to have this conversation. You have to be willing for your kids not to buy in. You have to be willing to sort of play bad cop and know that, like, don’t fold. And just remind yourself that you’re playing the long game. 

And parents like we’re, we’re parenting in the wild, wild west when it comes to this technology stuff, nobody, there’s no playbook. There’s, I mean, all these tech companies, they’re, they don’t have all of the, um, parameters that are probably going to exist at some point because the tech companies know how evil this is for a developing kid’s brain.

That’s why they’ve like, like all the CEOs and, and, and execs in these tech companies, they don’t let their kids have phones till high school. There’s, there’s been like all these articles written because 

[00:23:45] Cory Rubenstein: They know. 

[00:23:45] Randi Rubenstein: They know how evil it is. It’s like you’re giving your kid a cocaine level high. It’s like, here’s some cocaine, snort it as much as you want, a gazillion times a day.

[00:23:58] Cory Rubenstein: The biggest thing I think is not the kids that, I don’t think it’s the end of the world if you get your phone in 6th or 7th grade. But the kids that I know in my grade that have had phones since like 3rd grade and have been on Snapchat since like 4th or 5th grade are like, it’s not even that their childhood ends, they’re doing like bad things, like earlier in life. They’re texting bad people or sending bad things and it’s just like, in middle school. Like that does not need to be happening in middle school. 

[00:24:30] Randi Rubenstein: Like their innocence wasn’t preserved for as long as 

[00:24:34] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, probably fucks them up forever or hex them up forever. 

[00:24:38] Randi Rubenstein: You’re really dropping some f bombs, aren’t you?

[00:24:40] Cory Rubenstein: It’s my thing. Werewolves not swear wolves

[00:24:47] Randi Rubenstein: Okay, well I think it’s helpful. What do we want to end with? 

[00:24:54] Cory Rubenstein: Um, I don’t know 

[00:25:01] Randi Rubenstein: It’s not an easy. This is not an easy topic. 

[00:25:04] Cory Rubenstein: What do you mean end with? Didn’t we talk about everything? 

[00:25:06] Randi Rubenstein: We did, but, 

[00:25:07] Cory Rubenstein: Oh, like we need a little outro or something. 

[00:25:08] Randi Rubenstein: What? A little outro. 

[00:25:10] Cory Rubenstein: We need an outro. 

[00:25:10] Randi Rubenstein: Go for the outro. 

[00:25:13] Cory Rubenstein: Um, it’s double. It’s double R and CDR on the out. Peace out homies. That’s not it. 

[00:25:25] Randi Rubenstein: I don’t even know what that means. Double RNCR. I got it. Yeah. So wait until eighth. This is the consensus. Wait until eighth. Um, get them, if you don’t, if, if you’re in a community of a bunch of wait until eights, I don’t think the Apple watch and the flip phone is necessary because the kids will just continue.

[00:25:50] Cory Rubenstein: How the heck are they supposed to hang out? 

[00:25:53] Randi Rubenstein: Well, they’ll text on their computer or they’ll make plans old school. Like, Hey, can you hang out on Tuesday? 

[00:25:59] Cory Rubenstein: Unrealistic. 

[00:26:01] Randi Rubenstein: If it, if it’s a whole community of wait until eight. 

[00:26:03] Cory Rubenstein: Never going to happen. 

[00:26:05] Randi Rubenstein: It happens in some communities. 

[00:26:08] Cory Rubenstein: In where Narnia? No, it’s never happened.

[00:26:10] Randi Rubenstein: I know. I know a woman in San Francisco who was literally going to move. 

[00:26:14] Cory Rubenstein: San Francisco is not a real place on this earth. 

[00:26:17] Randi Rubenstein: It is. 

[00:26:18] Cory Rubenstein: Okay. But that’s not going to happen anywhere else besides California.

[00:26:21] Randi Rubenstein: It happens. Remember when we were in Boulder? 

[00:26:23] Cory Rubenstein: Maybe Austin, Texas. 

[00:26:25] Randi Rubenstein: Remember when we were in Boulder during the pandemic and we could just tell it was such a more, that family that lived next door to us and they were like eating lunch, the kids were playing outside like crazy.

[00:26:36] Cory Rubenstein: Yeah, but that’s not going to happen everywhere. That’s not going to happen in like New Jersey. 

[00:26:40] Randi Rubenstein: Probably not. So if you’re not in a community of wait until eighth, go for the watch of the flip phone. And I think we gave you some tips for how to master your mind. 

[00:26:53] Cory Rubenstein: Sorry for my outro. It was kind of cringy. 

[00:26:56] Randi Rubenstein: Um, who’s the Cringelord now?

[00:27:00] Cory Rubenstein: You, cause you just said that. You win. 

[00:27:03] Randi Rubenstein: Okay. So, yeah. So, so, so. Master your mind. Remember you’re playing the long game. 

[00:27:11] Cory Rubenstein: Was that on purpose? 

[00:27:12] Randi Rubenstein: Don’t fall. What? 

[00:27:13] Cory Rubenstein: Do you say that every podcast? 

[00:27:14] Randi Rubenstein: I don’t know every podcast, but I say it a lot. 

[00:27:16] Cory Rubenstein: Master your mind. 

[00:27:17] Randi Rubenstein: That’s the reason I named my company Mastermind Parenting. That makes me 

[00:27:23] Cory Rubenstein: Cringe. No, I’m just kidding. I like it. 

[00:27:27] Randi Rubenstein: Thanks. 

[00:27:27] Cory Rubenstein: No, I like it. 

[00:27:28] Randi Rubenstein: Thanks. 

[00:27:28] Cory Rubenstein: No, I do like it. 

[00:27:31] Randi Rubenstein: And when your kid keeps coming at you, coming at you, I think we helped with some potential things to say, and then just realizing that you may have to just walk away. You’re not going to convince them if they get all worked up. You have to just leave them alone and allow them to process because nothing’s going to get accomplished. When they’re all worked up and then you’re trying to convince them. They’re not listening. They’re not hearing you. They’re going to double down and just fight with you more. 

And so I know it’s hard because you really want to try and convince your kids that they should understand. Like everybody thinks, wants their kids to say, you’re right, mom, thanks. You, yeah, I’ve changed my mind about the phone and that’s just not going to happen.

So just be prepared that that’s not going to happen. Your kid’s going to be pissed at you. You’re going to have to deal with the discomfort of your kid being pissed at you, when really, you just want to have happy kids. So understand that, leave the room, and then stay strong. 

[00:28:45] Cory Rubenstein: And master your mind. 

[00:28:46] Randi Rubenstein: And master your mind. Long game. 

[00:28:50] Cory Rubenstein: End game. 

[00:28:51] Randi Rubenstein: End game. Thank you for doing this. Okay. Bye everyone. Have a great week. 

[00:28:59] Cory Rubenstein: Bye guys.

[00:29:01] Randi Rubenstein: Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips, tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household, I want you to go to my website and check out We have three beginning programs, and if you need some accountability and more support then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you.

And, as always, we’re on all the social channels under Mastermind Parenting, on Instagram it’s mastermind_parenting. And, you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives where I give you teaching and coaching and I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong-willed kids so that they can feel better, because when they feel better they do better, and I love, love, love getting to know you guys. 

So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review. Super, super appreciative.

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Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein