Choosing a first mobile phone for your kid
What are your thoughts on mobile phones for kids?
I have such mixed thoughts on mobile phones for kids. I absolutely hate to see kids sat texting and viewing their phones rather than out on their bikes, playing with friends, creating something and generally having a childhood. It seems such a waste of time for me and I worry. I worry not only about the children not getting enough exercises but I also worry about the lack of true social contact they are actually having. I like my kids out in nature, crafting and baking and playing tennis, skateboarding etc. a million times more than I like them being on a phone.
Oh my goodness what a true and absolute blessing a mobile phone is. It makes me feel so much better that on their walk to and from school I can call my kids at any point and make contact with them. I know their whereabouts and if they have a problem I can jump to the rescue. Such a safety net especially when they are doing those first independent steps.
I love that if they are out on a sleepover they can just call me up and talk to me if they need me. That link, that ability to connect when they are away from home has assuaged homesickness, provided guidance and reassurance and has enabled me to say goodnight. It is the reason I have let them go on school trips earlier perhaps than I would have done without a phone
However, did we manage without mobile phones?
When is the right time for a first mobile phone for a kid?
We are all going to have different views on this and rightly so, our kids are individuals and our parenting approaches are unique.
Personally, I gave each of my children their first phone the summer before they went to secondary school. Both were nearly 11. The reason I gave them the phones in the summertime was so they could practice using them and get familiar with them before they used them on a daily basis going to and from their new school. I wanted the excitement of having the first phone to wear off a little too. It was important to me they weren’t glued to it when they took their first walks to school and focused on making new friends and crossing roads safely instead.
What kind of deal should you choose for your child’s first phone?
Sim only deals really can be the very best option for a child’s first mobile phone
A SIM-only deal can offer great value for money and it can be really reassuring when you get a deal that gives you unlimited calls and texts. . Both my kids inherited my old phones as their first mobile phone so did not require a contract involving a handset.Since that first phone I have bought them second hand and refurbished phones and again turned to sim-only deals.
Why don’t I buy them new? Well, to be honest, they are not careful enough to have new phones, they bish bash bosh their phone around – we have had a few screens needing replacing (out their pocket money!) I also only want them using their phones for texts and calls they don’t need anything fancy at all. Plus, I would hate for their phones to be stolen!
Sim only worked really well for a first phone in my opinion and keeps cost low.
Let’s take a look at more benefits of a SIM-only deal
- Diverse and large choice of networks – Every mobile provider offers SIM only deals. Not only mobile providers offer handset deals. You have more options of providers by choosing SIM-only so really can find a provider that is right for you
- Keep your current handset – As I said I pass things on to my kids I want them to really appreciate that you don’t need new things all the time and that good things can be recycled. To be quite frank who on earth CAN afford to buy their kids brand new phones anyway!
- They keep costs down – because you are not paying for the handset it is cheaper to have as SIM-only contract and that is a winner in my book,
- Maximum 12 monthly -ins. Oh, how I absolutely hate to be stuck on a long contract – do you? Most pay monthly handset deals will tie you in for two years or more and in doing so the handset cost becomes more manageable. SIM only deals are 12 months maximum and a lot of them are just 30-day rolling contracts. Significantly more manageable and fluid.
It is well worth looking at broadband comparison sites to get the best deal. Shop around for Sim-only deals and truly find the right fit for you.
What have you chosen in regard to phones with your kids and what age did you let them have one. I would love to hear?