In these recent years we have seen children with cell phones in their pockets or backpacks and its becoming more of a hot item to have than a necessity. Most children want an android or iPhone with all the available features but they are unconscious of the monthly cost. I have seen children as young as 7 years old with a cell phone, so how would we prepare for something like this? As parents we should do our homework and search for the best plan and features that will best suit our children.
Below are some tips for your search on a phone plan for your child:
2 year agreement or Prepaid:
You may want to look into agreement plans that will bill you monthly, but these are easy for a teen to run up the bill if they are constantly talking or texting. Another options is prepaid service, you can select a plan with a limited amount of minutes, texts, and even data. The bill will not increase on a prepaid service since it is a set monthly allowance.
Select a suitable phone:
Keep in mind your child’s age range while selecting a phone. A basic phone would be good for a younger child, which he or she may only need for emergency calls. A teen is best with a texting phone. Review the phone and its pre-installed programs before making a decision on a phone.
Program phone numbers:
Program important numbers and teach your child how to look for through the contact list. Inform your child not to answer any calls or text from numbers they do not recognize.
Data download & upload:
Inform of your teen of how much data they have to prevent from over downloading or uploading. Uploading pictures on Facebook or Twitter take up data. Let your child know to be careful in downloading ringtones, backgrounds, and games these may come with hidden fees or viruses.
Your child may be old enough to have an account for Facebook or Twitter, but tell them to protect their number and keep it private. You never know who may contact your child.
Call your cell phone provider and subscribe to parental control features they may offer. You may also check if there is a way to block certain numbers.
Have a designated area where your child is to place their phone. Keep the area universal to the family for example on the kitchen counter or on a side table in the living room. In this area you can also discuss on their monthly allowance and how much is left in the month.
Educate your child:
Discuss with your child about inappropriate calls or texts such as texting while driving, sexting, and bullying. Tell them to show you texts that make them feel uncomfortable.