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Bill Gates: My kids get cell phone at age 13

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 6:32 p.m. MDT

Bill Gates, founder of the software company Microsoft, told TODAY News his family has chosen that 13 is the age where family members can get a phone. (Associated Press) Bill Gates, founder of the software company Microsoft, told TODAY News his family has chosen that 13 is the age where family members can get a phone. (Associated Press)

Our take: The question of when a child should receive a cell phone is a topic every parent deals with, including Bill Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have decided their kids can have a phone at age 13. A recent article in TODAY News by Eun Kyung Kim, talks about Gates' cell phone rule and some of his foundation's biggest goals for 2013.

Bill Gates, one of the world's richest men, faces the same problems at home that all parents do — like dealing with cell phone privileges.

“We’ve chosen in our family that it’s 13 where you get a phone. And you’re still a little bit limited,” Gates, the father of three children, including two teenagers, said Wednesday on TODAY. “They’re always coming home, ‘All the other kids have it. I’m the only one without it, it’s so embarrassing.’”

The admission brought some relief to Matt Lauer. "You just bought me two years, you realize that, right?” he said.

Lauer then asked whether he keeps the passwords to his children’s electronic accounts. Gates said he doesn’t — at least for his 16-year-old daughter.

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