First Time for Everything: When Should Kids Get a Job, a Phone, a Date?

Video What age is it appropriate to kiss

Americans may also be wary of other activities taking place too soon. in fact, overall, 92% of adults say kids today are growing up too fast. but when shouldn’t a child have to ask her parents’ permission and be considered an adult in her own right? on average, the magic age is 18.8 years. however, older adults, specifically those over 65, say it should actually be 19.5, significantly higher than their younger counterparts.

these are some of the results of the harris survey® of 2,463 u.s. adults ages 18 and older and 510 teens ages 13-17 surveyed online between July 14 and 27, 2016. Full results of this study can be found here.

fly alone

Americans say kids are ready at age 11 (10.7 on average) to venture out to a sleepover. however, when it comes to staying home alone, 13.5 is the magic age. Older Americans (ages 45 and older) are more likely than teens to report a significantly older age, on average. this despite the fact that Americans say they were allowed to stay home alone a year earlier, at age 12.5.

Staying in the comfort of home is one thing, but if a child wants to attend their first concert without their parents, they may have to wait a little longer. while Americans went to their first concert at age 18 (17.7 on average), they say kids are actually ready a little earlier, at age 16.5.

love is in the air

Sixteen is when Americans feel like boys are ready for their first singles date. Interestingly, this is largely accepted across generations. however, it is not necessary to wait for the first official date to have some face-to-face time. Americans agree that boys are ready for their first kiss at age 15 (15.1 on average), while on average they had theirs at age 14.5.

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But first, let’s talk about sex. Americans feel that children need the “sex talk” at age 12 (12.3 on average), a year before they were given the talk (13.2 on average).

screen time

A hotly debated topic among parents today is screen time and when children should have access to certain electronic devices. On average, Americans say that age 14 is when kids should have a cell phone. while parents with adult children say they need to wait until age 15 (14.8 on average), those with younger children say they need them at age 13 (13.3 on average).

Moving to the big screen, kids are ready to watch an R-rated movie at 16.5. older Americans, however, think this age should be higher. those over 45 say boys should be 17 (45-54: 16.8; 55-64: 17.0), and those over 65 say 18 (17.9 on average) is more appropriate. /p>

at the wheel

While Americans may say kids are ready to get behind the wheel at age 16 (15.9 on average), they aren’t ready to take responsibility for their own wheels until nearly 18 (17.6 on average). those 65 and older report a significantly higher age than their younger counterparts.

it’s about the youngest

And who pays for all these activities for the first time? Parents are likely to foot the bill until at least age 15, when Americans agree a child is ready for her first job (15.5 on average). Until then, many kids can take advantage of their weekly allowance, which Americans say should start at age 10 (9.8 on average).

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This Harris survey was conducted online, in English, within the United States between July 14 and 27, 2016 among 2,463 adults ages 18 and older and 510 teens ages 13 to 17 years. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income were weighted where necessary to align with their actual proportions in the population. propensity score weighting was also used to adjust respondents’ propensity to be online.

All surveys and sample surveys, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error that, in most cases, are not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and weighting and post-survey adjustments. Thus, Harris’s survey avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. all that can be computed are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for unweighted, pure random samples with 100% response rates. these are only theoretical because no published survey comes close to this ideal.

Respondents to this survey were selected from among those who agreed to participate in harris poll surveys. data has been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the National Council on Public Polling’s Disclosure Principles.

The results of this harris survey may not be used in advertising, marketing, or promotion without the prior written permission of harris survey.

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Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

the harris survey® #57, September 1, 2016

by allyssa birth, senior research analyst, the harris poll

about the harris® survey

Begun in 1963, the Harris Poll is one of the oldest public opinion polls in the US. uu. and is highly appreciated all over the world. Nationally representative surveys, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors, and motivations of the general public. New and trending polls are released weekly on a wide variety of topics, including politics, economics, health care, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyle. To learn more or view other recent polls, visit our new website,

press contact: corporate communications the harris poll 585-272-8400 [email protected]

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