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Cell Phones- Part 2

by Michele | August 13th, 2010 | Product reviews, Teens, Tweens

A couple weeks ago, I discussed the advantages associated with teens and tweens have their own cell phones. If you’re thinking this might be a good purchase for your child, I have some suggestions regarding the purchase of the phone and choosing a contract.

The phone

Most cell phone carriers offer you a vast array of cell phones, from free to hundreds of dollars. The free option may work for some families. Depending on the age of your child, the free phone may not be cool enough. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you need to cater to every wish, but there are ways to please everyone.

  • Make the free phone the default choice for your child’s phone.
  • If your child wants a phone with a price tag, the phone then becomes a gift for the next major holiday, or your child needs to save money (allowance, babysitting money, etc.) to pay for part or all of the phone.

Of course, there also is the issue of certain phones requiring a data plan. Adding a data plan to your cell phone plan is costly, approximately twenty-five dollars per person. In our house, cell phones with data plans are not an option, as it is an added expense. Once the kids are old enough to hold part-time jobs, it will be their decision as to whether they want to pay the fee in order to have a phone with a data plan. (Why would a 12 year old need constant access to email and the Internet anyway?)

The Plan

Cell phone plans range in the number of minutes and texts allowed. Having three social children, ages 12, 13, and 14, I have kept a watchful eye on our monthly cell phone bill to ensure that we didn’t exceed our allotted time. However, as I have seen there is very little time spent talking, the more important feature is texting. Our cell company allows us to add unlimited texting to all phones for ten dollars a month. This minor expense is worth it; I have heard numerous horror stories of huge phone bills from families with a set number of texts allowed each month. Sure, you could hold your child responsible for not sending more than the allotted number of texts, but they can’t control the texts that they receive and for which you are charged.

Although cell phones aren’t a necessity, they definitely are beneficial to both parent and child. Do a little research, and you will find a phone and plan that works for everyone.

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