5 Reasons Why Giving Your Kid An iPhone Is A Bad Idea!

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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I love my iPhone. It's sleek, trendy, and opens me up to a beautiful world of technology right at my finger tips. But the truth is, I love my iPhone because of how easy it makes my professional life. And, how quickly I can get things done while on the go.

Apple has achieved much success for this. They have managed to create a product that entertains while at the same time helps working professionals produce at a high capacity. It certainly has helped me produce mass amounts of work.

I think everyone in the world should own one of these sweet devices… except kids.

That’s right, kids. Teenagers in particular. As a parent and a pastor of students, I have several issues with kids having iPhones, or any smartphone for that matter. In an increasingly dangerous world, where predators physically lurk around every corner after they’ve lurked everywhere online, it’s too risky to place one of these devices freely in the hands of adolescents.

Here are 5 reasons why:

1- Online pornography is an open sewer. 

Statistically speaking, it is nearly impossible for a kid to not see some form of pornography by the time they reach their teenage years. Unless they live in a cave, they will run into it. Parents of boys who have smartphones- the question isn’t “Have they looked at pornography?” it’s “How much have they looked at?” or “How often do they look at it?” It’s as accessible as the weather.

2- They give permission to hide. 

You’re probably scratching your head a little, aren’t you? Let me explain. Thanks, in part, to the advent of texting and social media, kids growing up in this era are relationally impotent. With the exception of some mature kids, most hide behind their devices, sending apology texts instead of apologizing face-to-face, or confronting a friend over direct messaging on Twitter or Facebook instead of sitting down and conversing. They just don’t talk anymore. Not face-to-face anyway.

They are relationally starved. In fact, most adolescents, if asked whether they’d prefer to text a friend they’re having a problem with, or sit down and work it out, face-to-face, would choose to text. That’s a huge problem!

3- They grant unlimited access to the world.

Call me old fashioned, or out of touch, but I don’t believe the whole world should have access to my 13-year old daughter, and I don’t believe she should have access to the entire world either. Out of 7 billion people on this spinning planet, there’s quite a few bad ones with bad intentions and I don’t want them having all-access to my child. Ever.

4- They enable distraction. 

You don’t have to look far to find a distracted person anymore. They’re everywhere. You pass them on the sidewalk, you sit next to them in your place of employment, and our kids are surrounded by them at school. In fact, your kids may be them. Smartphones have allowed our society to live in a perpetual state of distraction. And our children are part of this reality. My children too!

5- They propel the inability to make wise choices.

Studies have shown, over the past 5 years, that the ability to make overall wise choices is not something a human being is able to do until around their mid-twenties. This research is based on case studies of several college-age students (18-22 years of age) who died in tragic accidents over the past several years. Namely, a Notre Dame football recruit who fell off a balcony to his death after heavy drinking on a spring break trip.

Chemically speaking, there is a natural imbalance that exists in adolescents until they reach their mid-twenties. Obviously there are some who mature quicker than others and have the ability to make wise choices, but that’s the exception, not the rule here.


The law of the internet is simple: you are what you post. If a kid posts a picture or video of them getting drunk or high in college, they will always be that 18 or 19 year old getting drunk or high in online terms. The internet never ever forgets!

Once a picture is posted through social media it’s there forever and you have no way of knowing how or when it could be used against your child. With global tracking in smartphones, anyone can find your child at any point. Pornographers target youth, ages 12-18 in particular, and smartphones put porn in the palm of their hands. Plus, there are raging statistics of sex trafficking that begins with predators contacting teenagers through social media and texting, and then moving in on them.

Of course there’s the parent’s responsibility and the use of settings and restrictions on iPhones (in particular) and other smartphones. I am well-aware of this, and, I see huge value in it. In fact, I even encourage parents to set up strong boundaries for their kid if they’re going to have a smartphone [Click here to read my post on Teens and Social Media]. This world is too big and too full of people, with bad intentions, to take chances with your children.

Parents, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject? Are you for giving teenagers smartphones or against it?


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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.