Bill Gates tells banned his kids from having mobile phones until they turned 14

“Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, says that he did not permit his children to own a mobile phone until they turned 14,” Ariel Zilber reports for The Daily Mail. “Gates made the revelation during an interview on Thursday with the British newspaper The Mirror.

“Not only does Gates force his kids to wait until age 14 to get a smartphone, but he also limits the amount of time they could use them before going to bed,” Zilber reports. “Smartphones are also banned from the dinner table. ‘We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour,’ the tech titan told The Mirror.”

Zilber reports, “Gates and his wife, Melinda, are parents to Jennifer, 20; Rory, 17; and Phoebe, 14.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bill Gates. Forever copying Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent – September 11, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


      1. I’m not sure what exactly is your point, so I’ll try to guess. Having two kids in different schools, with both parents who work, is a challenge, and the biggest one is when those kids have to get back home after school, well before the parents do. Presumably, giving them smartphones, we can track them and know exactly where they are at any given time.

        My kids are 16 and 11. Neither has a smartphone; they have “dumb”phones ($25 slide-out texting phones), so that they can call/text (or we can call/text) after school. The main reason they don’t have smartphones is because they would be wasting inordinate time getting distracted by them.

        When they were born, my wife decided she will stop working and dedicate her time to the child(ren). Once the little one started school, my wife started freelancing again (a little), but made sure she can pick up the kids from school every day and be with them after school. For us, there was no need for smartphones.

        My 16-year old is now ready for an iPhone, and once she gets it, I will have complete parental control, until she leaves for college. The little one likely won’t get it until high school.

        Similar rules for home. No phone or computer use in bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, dining room. Only in spaces where homework is done. Hopefully, they will develop reasonable usage habits and avoid addiction, physical injury (neck strain, RSI etc.) and simply improper, impolite behaviour in social settings.

        1. so your point is that pre-teens cannot be trusted with smart phones nor teached moderation in their use of digital devices, very very old school thinking that is my main point!

          1. Yes, that’s what I believe, based on some observations of my own. My children are in a private school in Manhattan. Most of their peers are form moderately well-to-do families with strong family values. I have seen the very noticeable negative consequences an unrestricted access to a MacBook or an iPhone (or, god forbid, Android) can have on academic achievement. The young teens have a major problem organising their time, and quite many of them struggle to avoid distractions. Nothing serves as a more effective distraction than a smartphone (or a laptop).

            My girls are responsible and strong achievers in school, but I could clearly see, a few years back, when the school implemented their “One to One” laptop policy (5-12th graders all got MacBook Airs), how much longer suddenly homework took to get finished. There are only two solutions: either constantly watch them and remind them not to shift back and forth (to FB, Instagram, YouTube), or severely restrict their access (Mac OS parental controls). When a homework assignment requires watching a 10-minute instructional video, which is on YouTube, they will almost always follow that video with something else, either from the links on the side, or by actually searching for something. At the age of 10 – 16, they simply get easily sidelined.

            So, no, I don’t believe young teens, and especially young pre-teens, are capable of managing their time, effectively learning how to avoid distractions on their digital devices and develop moderation in such use. Even adults have a problem around these.

            1. way too authoritarian imo, yes boundaries must be set but micro managing by strident rules and taboos set the stage for adult neurosis

      1. It’s called discipline. It has it’s place and is quite effective…for the present and future. “Rod” speaks of corporal punishment, which was never mentioned.

        1. it’s a old old saying intended to address all forms of physical punishment towards forced discipline, including belts sticks rubber hoses fly swatters screaming guilt tripping harassment humiliation isolation personal insulting …. all the things so called displinarian parents resort to when they over micro manage children’s lives

          1. But it works. If you don’t discipline your kids, they turn into the impatient spoiled brats that we see today. Your kids might have done fine without any discipline, but that doesn’t usually work.

  1. NEW YORK TIMES 2014:

    ““.. nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010

    …. So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home….

    .. I never asked Mr. Jobs what his children did instead of using the gadgets he built, so I reached out to Walter Isaacson, the author of “Steve Jobs,” who spent a lot of time at their home.

    … Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things,” he said. “No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices.”

  2. MD take is ridiculous, its not like Steve Jobs was the only guy raising kids, and if gates had abandoned a kid MD would have gone to town with Everyone has a way to raise kids, some succeed some not, if there was a formula to raise kids the right way, I think we will have Einsteins everywhere.. or according to MD Steve Jobs everywhere..lmao..

  3. This story is YEARS old. It’s no new revelation.

    And as we chattered about it around here, I recall some people pointing out that a child having a limited access cell phone can be extremely important. It’s a way to keep in touch with your child wherever they are. It also gives the child rapid access to help wherever they are.

    What’s bad is being a lazy-ass parent and not taking advantage of the parental controls afforded by a cell phone. Turn OFF everything else but the phone, if that’s what’s important. No way provide the kid with access to spending money via the phone, talking with strangers via the phone, etc.

    And protect the parental administrator password! Don’t let the kid see you enter it. Don’t make the password anything easily crackable. Don’t reuse the same passwords anywhere.

    My further inclination:
    Control what your kids see on TV and hear on the radio until they’re 13. Turning your kids into little propagandized android consumers and debtors for the corporatocracy is a crap thing to do.

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