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Children Cell Phone Plans

Updated on March 30, 2012

We live in a world where many people have cell phones but should our children have them and if so at what age should we get them one?

Weigh the pros and cons

Don’t cave in simply because of peer pressure or feeling like your child will be deprived if they don’t have a cell phone. There are few times when young kids need a calling device so really think it through before signing a contract.

Don't buy them one because "all the other kids have one" I'm sure all the other kids don't have one it just may seem that way to your child.

Do you have a landline or home phone?

If your child is at home alone before and after school without a way to call in case of an emergency than you might consider getting a cell phone.

There are homes without a landline and when you weigh the pros and cons getting an extra cell phone might be a wise idea.

Children need to be able to call in case of emergencies.

Is your child in situations where they need to call home?

Most young kids are with other adults if they go on field trips or outings so they really don’t need a cell phone.

If your child has extra curricular activities where his or her parents aren’t around then that might be a reason to need a phone.

I can see not wanting to impose on other adults to let your child borrow their phone using their minutes to call and let you know practice is over and they need a ride.

My daughter was sixteen before she got a phone, we have a landline and she wasn’t in situations where she needed to have one. Her extra curricular activities were always at school where there was also a landline.

When my daughter started driving I wanted her to have a phone to call in case of an emergency.

Can you afford another cell phone bill?

About half of American children are being raised by single mothers living on a tight budget. If you can’t afford to buy your child a cell phone it’s not going to kill him.

Kids have gone for decades without a cell phone; you yourself more than likely grew up without having one and did just fine.

Putting yourself in a bind financially just so your child can have a toy is not a good idea. There will always be children and other people with more stuff than we have and our kids learning this at an early age will help them in later life. We don’t always get what we want.

Get a limited plan

If you do decide to get your child a cell phone you can limit their minutes. After they’ve used their allotted cell phone minutes their phone doesn’t work. This will keep you from having extremely high cell phone bills you can't afford to pay.

Help your child learn to budget their time and don’t spend hours on the phone playing.

Some cell phone plans have unlimited texting. Kids can still communicate with their friends but won’t run up your cell phone bill. The best cell phone plans have children in mind and look out for parents by having these extra benefits. Texts are usually cheaper than phone calls.

There are starter phones with limited access, they only call home and a few other places you program into their phone.

You can keep an eye on their calling history to make sure they aren’t talking to predators; set it up with your cell phone provider.

Set rules

You should set ground rules with your kids before turning them loose with their first cell phone.

1) No cell phone use at school unless important or emergency. Be sure to give them reasons it would be important.

2) Who are they allowed to call?

3) Keep up with your phone. Where they should store it such as backpack or locker during school time.


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Dillipchandra, we have to consider our own individual family's situation and needs. Children don't need Internet access on their cell phone.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 6 years ago from India

      Very good hub. You have pointed out very important issue. Cell Phones to children, not at all advisable.

      I will tell you one incident i have come across. Couple of years back i have been to a movie with my friends. There, after getting our tickets we were waiting outside and looking at a group of kids. All are might be of the age group 10 to 12...

      They are facing each other and standing in a round and laughing by looking at something in their hands. We were anxious and one of my friend approached them and just had a look to find out what is going on.

      He was shocked to see an Apple iPhone in one of their hands. The worst thing is, they were watching an adult movie. It is very disgusting.

      This is really an alarming situation, every parent has to stop giving kids whatever they ask. Really kids are getting spoiled because of their parents.

      Very good topic Pamela, i appreciate your effort in bringing this issue to light.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. Something I just thought of that should be added to this article is that some cell phone providers offer insurance. It varies in price but worth it if you are worried about your child losing or damaging their phone. We got it for our daughter's phone but after the first year we dropped it. She was much better with her phone than we thought she would be. She loses things quite a bit.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      There are definitely considerations that need to be addressed when deciding on getting a cell phone for a teenager.

      You pointed out the issues very well, and you brought up a great solution too. I agree that a limited plan is the way to go. If it's a prepaid plan, then the child needs to learn budgeting, just as you said. This can help with other areas of life too as the child grows up.

      Also, if they lose the phone, it's not the end of the world. Another thing is that many prepaid services let you keep the number as long as you don't use up all the minutes before adding more... which is another way to teach budgeting tactics.

      This is an important Hub you wrote that all parents should read. Voted up and useful.

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      There are many good points here, both in the article and comments section. Today things are much different from when many of us were growing up. The internet and cell phones were the things that made movies futuristic.

      Now these technologies create an environment where we as parents are overwhelmed with things that can and does happen to kids every day.

      Shoot we all have cell phones these days, let us face it. When many of us old farts were kids, our moms stayed home close to the ole landline phone. Today moms go to work out of the home and have a cell phone tucked away in her purse, handbag or pocket.

      Ask any kid today how is the best way to get ahold of mom or dad and they will tell you, their cell phones. With all the free mobile-to-mobile cell phone plans, the cost of the additional line is offset by the peace of mind knowing. Our kids do not need to go in search of, a phone they can borrow to remind us to pick them up after school.

      Be well and embrace the technologies. They are the future, like it or not.

    • the girls profile image

      Theresa Ventu 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      The cellphone with a limited plan for children is a sound advice. It spares us from constantly monitoring their usage minutes and texts messaging.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      Great article on cell phones for kids. They are almost necessary in this day and age. I always swore I'd never get one for my kids, but of course, I did. I voted this UP, etc.

    • onegreenparachute profile image

      Carol 6 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      Oh my goodness!! Am I ever glad cell phones weren't around when I had children. As a single parent I would not have been able to afford such a luxury. Great hub tho'. Good information. Up and useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      Great information when considering a phone for your child. I do not have that problem anymore, but my grandchildren are already asking their parents for one. I think your guidelines are ones that will keep everyone happy and safe. Voted up and shared.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      My husband is disabled and our daughter goes to visit friends that live close by. They will often invite her to go with them somewhere with their parent. They also go for walks in the woods right behind our property, and along the roads we live on. We live out in the country. I found that having her take a phone with her offers a lot of peace of mind for us. If there is a problem, someone gets hurt or someone bothers them, she can get hold of us or the police immediately. One of the other girls fell down a hill and broke her arm when they were out walking. She didn't want to leave her alone and she called both parents. We all arrived down there to rescue them in just a minute. Our daughter was 10 when this happened. We got a Net10 phone for her and it is just $20 a month for 200 minutes. She has been good about budgeting her minutes to last the whole month.When she gets down to 20 minutes, she quits calling people except us.

    • profile image

      DMartelonline 6 years ago

      My kids never had cell phones but that "phase" came when they were older. I'd recommend Tracfone because you can seriously restrict them by only putting "emergency" minutes on the phone!