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Bill Gates doesn’t let his kids own phones

world Updated: Feb 01, 2013 00:09 IST
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Microsoft founder Bill Gates has opened up about being a parent, stating that 13 is an appropriate age for a child’s first cell phone.

The 57-year-old, father-of-three revealed on the Today show that his children Jennifer and Rory were not allowed phones until their thirteenth birthday and his youngest daughter Phoebe is still waiting for one.

“We’ve chosen in our family that it’s 13 where you get a phone,” he said.

He said as a result his brood often return home from school complaining that all other kids have it, except for them.

Asked if he keeps passwords to his son and daughters’ email and Facebook accounts, Gates said that he doesn’t for 16-year-old daughter Jennifer, who he describes as “independent”.

He admitted that monitoring online activity is ‘a very tricky issue for parents now.’

Despite their vast wealth the Gates couple, who live in Lake Medina, just outside Seattle, Washington, have said that they want to give their children as normal an upbringing as possible.

It was previously reported that the youngsters have to complete household chores and are given a modest amount of pocket money.

And in 2010, Gates said that he intends to give most of his $61billlion fortune away rather than hand it down. “That wouldn’t be good either for my kids or society,” he said.

Also during the Today interview, Bill Gates, who stepped down from Microsoft in 2008 to concentrate on philanthropy, said that helping others gives him same buzz as creating software.