Children's Hospital Colorado

What Is the Right Age for My Child to...?

A girl wearing her mom's costume jewelry puts on lipstick while holding a vanity mirror.

Some parents might buy a 10-year-old their first cell phone, others not until the middle or high school years. One of your children may be itching to go to a sleepover at age 7, while the other shows absolutely no interest, even at 13.

Every child is different, yes. But are there some general guidelines parents can follow as their children get older and become more independent?

We asked Christopher Stille, MD, Chief of the Child Health Clinic, to answer questions such as the right age for pets, cell phones, chores and staying home alone.


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