When Do You Let Kids Do Grown Up Stuff?

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Written By Saeed Maleki

If you think children grow up too quickly, then get shocked by some of the ages parents let their kids do grown-up stuff.

Although game designers and broadcasters are specific about certifying the age children can access their products, most families just ignore them and let far younger children in on the act.

Researchers polled 2,000 parents with children aged under 18 years old to find out what they allow their children to do – and were shocked by the results.

The study revealed most children can walk to school on their own, have a mobile phone and play 12+ rated games like the popular Fortnite by the time they have reached 11.

But they can’t go shopping in a town or city centre until they hit 12 years old – and surprisingly can start dating at 14.

Easing off online

Online, things are far more relaxed.

Children are free to use social media by 13 years old and watch X-rated films aimed at 18-year-olds and older when they reach 14.

Reality TV shows like Love Island and Big Brother are no longer taboo for children. The cut-off age seems to be 13 years old for most parents who OK their kids to watch the sexy goings-on.

Other revelations included

The study was backed by mobile phone network O2.

Ages and activities

Here’s a full list of what other parents allow their kids to do and the age they can do it:

Aged 11:

  • Walk to school alone
  • Ride as a front seat passenger in a car
  • Get a mobile phone
  • Play 12-rated computer games, such as Fortnite

Aged 12:

  • Stay up past 10pm
  • Listen to explicit song lyrics
  • Have access to Wi-Fi round-the-clock at home
  • Go shopping alone

Age 13:

  • Gain full access to social media
  • Watch reality TV, such as Love Island
  • Access streaming TH and movie services
  • Stay home alone
  • Have a girl or boy friend
  • Access to the family credit card
  • Have a set of house keys
  • Watch a 15-rated film
  • Turn parental locks off the TV or internet

Aged 14:

  • Work part-time
  • Watch an 18-rated film
  • Play an 18-rated computer game, like Call of Duty

“As a parent myself I know that managing family life in today’s ever changing digital world can be complicated,” said the firm’s marketing executive Nina Bibby.

“It’s often difficult to agree on what we think is best for our children, and every family is unique, which is why we want to help to encourage parents to embrace these conversations and know they are not alone in facing these challenges.”