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Like others who have replied, I'm skeptical that it's really about the phones. The age when kids get phones just happens to be about the same age when they start to separate from their parents and have always done so. Some people maintain a strong connection during that time and some don't. 'Twere ever thus.

Personally, I'm fortunate that I've maintained a pretty strong connection with my 15yo daughter. A large part of that is that I'm comfortable communicating with her the same way her other friends do, not only the physical medium of the phone but also the cultural medium of memes and slang and pop culture. I can still play Authority Figure when I need to, but there's a lot less friction involved when I'm also part of her daily social context and not The Alien who requires a unique mode of communication.




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