Cell Phones For Children

Photo Courtesy of www.freeimages.com
Photo Courtesy of www.freeimages.com

Who Would Buy Cell Phones For Children

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I am usually one of those parents who constantly ask themselves. Why in the world would people buy cell phones for children. They are kids after all. The only thing they'll use it for is non stop texting, taking pictures, and playing games.

Recently I became one of the converted. I broke down and purchased cell phones for my kids. My initial reason was somewhat selfish. One day, while my husband was waiting at the bus stop for the kiddos to get home, the bus was late. Not just a little bit late but a lot late. He sat there for almost an hour and the bus didn't come. He has some health problems so he can't drive. As the time passed, he became more and more nervous that something might have happened to the bus. The worst thoughts of the bus being involved in a horrible accident raced through his head. The feeling of not knowing if the kids were alright was horrifying.

We live two miles from the bus stop so it's a ways to walk. After waiting and waiting and waiting, my husband made his way home to check for messages. Just as he was walking into the house the phone rang. It was the school principal calling to say that the bus driver had missed their stop and would bring them home at the end of the bus run. Needless to say, he was pretty furious. He was even more angry when he walked back to the bus to learn that the bus driver had simply let our two children off on the highway after dark with no concern of whether or not they would be okay. Anything could have happened to them. They weren't in any danger because the bus missed the stop but they sure were in danger being let off the bus in the way that they were.


My viewpoint on buying cell phones for children changed dramatically. So you see, my motive for buying them cell phones was selfish. We have quite a bit of piece of mind knowing that they can call to let us know if there is a problem. Of course they love texting their friends and playing games on their phones. We knew that this would be part of the deal.

One thing that is very handy to know is that these phones can be located by GPS if there is ever an emergency where one of them is lost. A cell phone locator service can find my children with a touch of a button. You can't believe the piece of mind that we have because of this feature.

Buying cell phones for children can be a great idea. If you haven't bought them for you kids, I suggest that you start shopping.

Getting The Best Deal

It's important to shop around for the best deal when buying your children cell phones. Many cell phone providers have family plans these days. With most of them, you can have several phones that share the same monthly minutes. You can really save a lot of money this way.

In most cases you can call any of the phones in the "family" for free. This makes it nice on the pocket book. You can usually have a 5 to 10 people added to your favorite callers list and you can call them for free as well. If you plan it right, your cell phone bill doesn't have to look like your house payment. If you don't pay close attention to your phone, it's not that unreasonable to get a bill as big as your house payment.

It's your responsibility to manage your bill. The cell phone companies are in the business of making money. They are unlikely to tell you how you can save money. They like it when your bill is huge.

Be sure that you have free text messaging with your plan. Your children will likely send hundreds of them to their friends. At twenty five cents each, it won't take long to bankrupt you if free text messaging isn't included.

Use your head and shop around for the best family plan. They are not all created equal. You should also know that you can usually add features to your plan for a reasonable fee if they aren't included in the standard family plan.

Browsing The Internet

Many of today's cell phones can be hooked up to laptop computers and used as modems to surf the Internet.  This can be a handy convenience or it can be a horrible catastrophe.

You really need to educate your children and set firm rules if you choose to allow them to do this.  Some plans charge you by the minute and others charge you for the actual bandwidth that you use. 

Here is the caveat.  Most plans charge extra for downloading content from the Internet.  This is because downloading can put a huge strain on the systems resource.  One Canadian man recently received an $85,000 cell phone bill.  He chuckled at first and promptly called his cell phone provider.  He wasn't laughing when the company informed him that it wasn't a mistake and the bill was legitimate!  Apparently he had been downloading a lot of movies and music.  He left his phone connected to his laptop all night so the movies could download while he was sleeping. He got free minutes during the night so he assumed that this included free Internet usage.

It's my understanding that the cellphone company settled on a lower bill but he was still liable for thousands of dollars worth of bandwidth that he used.

Are you getting the point?  Know exactly how you will be charged if you allow your kids to use their cell phones and Internet modems.

Photo Courtesy of www.freeimages.com
Photo Courtesy of www.freeimages.com

Tracking Your Kids With Their Cell Phones

With modern day cell phones, it's possible to use your chidren's cell phones and GPS tracking devices. There are several free cell phone locator services on the market for programmable smart phones. It's probably not the best idea to buy your children these expensive models.

Sprint has a service called the Sprint Family Locator that you can subscribe to for only $5.00 a month! With the Sprint Family Locator, you will be able to track up to four phones.

You can simply log on to a computer with an Internet connection and instantly see the exact location of the people in your cell phone tracker network. If you have a fancy programmable smartphone, Sprint has a free cell phone tracking application that you can download and install on your phone so that you can track the people in you cell phone tracking network directly from your cell phone.

The Sprint Family Locator service has a very cool feature that enables you to log into the system and program the service to send you a text message with the exact location of the people in you cell phone tracker network.

If your kids get home from school everyday at 3:45 PM, you can set the service up to automatically send you a text message notifying you that your children made it home safely.  

This service alone is reason enough to buy your children cell phones.  Imagine the peace of mind that the Sprint Family Locator will provide you.


When Should Kids Get Cell Phones

Here is a short news video about when kids should get cell phones.  It's pretty interesting and worth watching.

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