All kids these days want a mobile phone - even 8-year-old Juliette asked if she could have one the other day, supposedly because a girl in her class has got a smartphone, which I find hard to believe ! I remember umming and aahing about whether to get Sophie a phone when she went to secondary school. I'm glad we did now because she can keep in touch with us if she's going to be late or if we start worrying about where she is. It's also really handy for school trips so that she can let us know if they'll be arriving later or earlier than planned. Here's a guest post that gives you some useful advice on other things to take into account when choosing your child's first mobile phone.
A lot of parents out there will be reaching the stage where their child asks for a mobile phone, and for many parents these words often strike fear into their hearts, and in a way so they should.
There will always be good and bad points to buying a mobile phone for a child : on the one hand you like the idea that your son or daughter has the ability to contact you at any time. However, you are also considering the possibility of them running up a steep bill, damaging the phone, or - worse still – having the phone stolen.
If you think that these are a lot of things to consider, you then get faced with in-phone features which bring up the question of whether you want your child to have access to social networks. Yes, Facebook does implement a 13-year-old age restriction but that does not stop a 10-year-old from signing up and agreeing to the T&C’s.
Don’t get me wrong though, a phone can be a saviour for you and your child. I am sure you are all too aware of those long car journeys where the repeated “are we nearly there yet?” shouts come from the back seat, and having a phone can be a great asset during these types of occasions. They can also play a great role on family holidays where your child can take their own photos and record their own videos.
Like anything you buy for your child, you do need to consider certain things, and that is why I have put together this top 5 list of what you should look for when you buy their first mobile phone:
#1 – Don’t Buy Expensive Phones
The first rule of buying your child a phone is not to go over the top with a £300 or £500 Smartphone. At the end of the day it’s their first phone, they are young, and the phone is going to get dropped, scratched, and even lost.
You can get some pretty great Smartphones that can keep them entertained from as little as £10 and below the £40 mark.
#2 – Stay Away From Contract Phones
Getting your child a prepaid phone instead of a contract phone is a safe bet. It not only keeps them from overspending and running up outrageous bills, but it also helps to teach them the meaning of money.
You can tell your child that they have £10 and that must last them the course of 1 month. If they run out, then they run out. Over time, they will soon learn to make that £10 go a little longer.
#3 – Find a Durable Phone
A lot of parents I have questioned about what they look for in a mobile phone for their child have said that they tend to look away from branded phones and more towards phones that are durable.
There are some solid phones out there that can take a bit of a bashing. If you want the ultimate in strength, then take a look at the JCB phone!
#4- Fits In With Their Mates
This isn’t a priority for everyone but some parents who don’t want to pay the high costs of Apple and Samsung will find a mid-range phone that fits in with what their mates have, so they don’t feel left out.
It can be a good idea to talk to other parents to see what their take on this is, and what phones their children have.
To add to this section, it is also worthwhile checking if the phone has any pre-installed games. I have found from talking to a group of parents that their children love to play games on phones and that it can keep them occupied for ages. Of course you can download some games for free, but it’s always good to have a few preloaded games.
#5 – Track Your Kid
Some parents feel that this is a step too far, but others feel comforted by the fact they know where their child is. Using GPS on your child’s phone and Google Locations, it will show you where your child is, and where they have been. There are plenty of apps that can help you locate your child, and these apps also help to find lost phones.
Remember, every parent is different and there may be things that you want your son or daughter to see, and other things that you want to restrict access to. You may want to buy your child an iPhone, or a Galaxy S4 : these are your decisions and this article is designed to help those that may need some guidance when it comes to buying their child their first mobile phone.
After all, many parents didn’t have to go through this process when they were children !
We would like to thank Craig Timmins and the team at SellMyMobile.com for researching and providing this article for publishing.
Disclosure : This is a sponsored, but nevertheless honest and hopefully interesting, post !
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