If you are the parent of a tween or teen who has a cell phone, read this guide on plans, protection, restrictions, and insurance.
This is a guest post by Laura Ginn.
Mobile phones are great devices for both parents and their children because they keep everyone connected no matter where they go. Parents can keep tabs on their children while they’re out with friends, and their children can get in touch with parents right away in an emergency.
Some parents choose to give their children their own mobile phones at a very young age, such as around 8 years old, while others wait until their children are older, such as in their teenage years. But, no matter what age you think is most appropriate for a child to have his or her own mobile phone, there are things to consider when giving your child his or her first phone. Read on to learn more about what precautions you should take when purchasing a phone for your young son or daughter.
Choose the Right Mobile Phone Service Plan
Mobile phone service plans can become quite costly, especially as you add on unlimited data plans and unlimited calls and texts. When it comes to a young child who’s still in elementary school, however, there’s no need for such elaborate and expensive plans. In fact, you can most likely get away with the cheapest plan available and potentially avoid having a data plan tacked onto the bill as well. After all, the main purpose of a mobile phone for your young son or daughter is to keep in touch with you and to have a means of calling for help during an emergency. He or she shouldn’t be surfing the internet or spending a lot of time on the phone or texting with friends, especially if you have a landline at home that allows him or her to do that at a much lower cost to you.
Set Firm Restrictions on Use
Set restrictions for how your child is allowed to use his or her own mobile phone. Let him or her know that the service plan only covers a specific amount of texts and minutes. Also, make him or her aware of any data restrictions so that he or she won’t try surfing the internet if it isn’t allowed. Making sure your child is aware of these restrictions in the first place will prevent him or her from abusing the device in the long run, and costing you money as a result.
Get a Protective Case for the Phone
A protective case is a worthwhile investment, especially for a mobile phone that will be used by a young child who may not know how to properly care for it right away. The case can keep the phone from becoming damaged as a result of drops or being placed inside backpacks at school, for example, thereby securing your investment.
Think About Getting Insurance
There are, indeed, many options available when it comes to cheap mobile insurance, and this is definitely a worthwhile investment if your phone will be used by your young child. In the event anything happens to the device, your insurance will have you covered, much like your car insurance covers you in the event of a car crash or vandalism.
Laura Ginn is a writer who knows how important it is for children today to have mobile phones to use to call home. But parents need to be firm in setting restrictions on use so that the devices do not end up being abused by children who feel spoiled by them.