Our older kids are 9 and 11-years-old. Earlier this year, we bought them both cell phones. They were then attending a school several miles from home and it was what Mama needed to keep connected with them after school.
After a few months, we quickly realized that the 9-year-old was only using the phone for games and my daughter, well she had lost her phone. When she had her phone, she just used it for texting. The few times I did contact my son it was via text. They didn’t need phone service, so we discontinued our plans (thank God for no contract plans!)
My daughter has been begging for a phone ever since losing her original cell phone. Christmas she wanted a phone, and then her birthday rolled around, she wanted a phone – and we just didn’t want to pay for her service and a phone she is just going to text with.
Scratch Wireless recently contacted me and offered to send us a phone to try out their service. The thing that caught my eye about Scratch Wireless is that you just buy the device. $269 and you get a nice Motorola Photon Q Android phone and get this – NO PLAN needed.
Yes, I was baffled. We got our phone and the only real way to test this phone out was for me to give it to my daughter. I figured this would give us a good idea of how it worked and she would most definitely tell me what she liked and didn’t like.
Free Phone Service on Wi-Fi – Free Texting ALWAYS
Scratch Wireless – Where Mobile Lives Free – okay so that’s their tag line, but WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Here is how Scratch Wireless works. You buy the phone outright. You can then use the phone on Wi-Fi for FREE. You ALWAYS get texting for FREE. But let’s say you need to use your phone sometimes and you don’t want to have to be in WI-FI to use it. NO PROBLEM.
Scratch has 2 options for you
1. Purchase a 24-hour cellular-pass – Data pass: $1.99 or Voice pass: $1.99
2. Purchase a 30-day cellular pass – Data pass: $14.99 or Voice pass: $14.99
And of course texting is free on Wi-Fi and cellular, and voice and data are free on Wi-Fi!
While I can see Scratch Wireless working for anyone who wants to save on the monthly cell phone bill, this is a GREAT option for getting phone service for a teen or tween for a minimal amount of money. For $14.99 a month, I can text my daughter all I want and then call her whenever I need to. Sounds like a great plan to me.
Thoughts from my Tween:
“I LOVE THIS PHONE MOMMY” This is definitely an upgrade from the last Android device we bought her.
The downside, she doesn’t have access to some of the apps in the car – her way around is to bug us to turn on our hot spots so that she’ll have wireless access.
Last month we signed our oldest daughter Z up for Walmart Family Mobile. It was time to buy her a phone. My husband and I are both on contract plans. After researching, going with a non-contract option was a lot cheaper than than adding her to our current plan. Plus, we knew we did not want a cell phone contract for her.
After a month of usage and I have to say that we are happy with every aspect with our Walmart Family Mobile purchase.
Cell Phone Coverage
Walmart Family Mobile uses the T-Mobile network, and anywhere we go there has been great coverage and speed. This is something we were weary of when signing up with a contract-free plan, but now realize we shouldn’t have been!
Samsung GS II
We had purchased a Samsung GS II for Z to use with Walmart Family Mobile. This Android phone is amazing. My husband and I currently both have the Apple iPhone 5. After playing around with her phone, it gave me a whole new appreciation and perspective into Android phones, particularly the Samsung. My sister had the Samsung GS II and had raved about it. She recently updated to the Samsung GS IV and can see why she stuck with a Samsung cell phone.
Kids and Cell Phones
We had contemplated for a long time on whether or not to purchase a cell phone for our daughter, but at the end of the day it’s proven to be totally worth it! There have been many situations where she has needed to contact us and without the cell phone would of been difficult.
All that being said, I am super glad we made her sign a kids cell phone contract. There have been certain instances where the phone was being used late, or too much in which we’ve been able to refer back to the contract on.
Louis CK’s kids aren’t getting cell phones. Why doesn’t Louis C.K. let his kids get a cell phone?
I love Louis C.K. and while our opinion differs on this subject, it’s definitely worth a hear.
“You say, no, you can’t have it. I don’t care what you want.” He goes on to say that he isn’t there to make them happy. He isn’t raising children, he is raising the grown-ups they are going to be.
For us getting a cell phone was really more of something we wanted to have her have since Z is at a new school, not close to home. She is only 10, so finding a friend to give her a ride home isn’t an option. Add in the multiple extracurricular activities and for our peace of mind, we wanted her to have a phone.
One thing that I LOVE that Louis CK says is that we aren’t raising children, we are raising the grown-ups they are going to be. This is SO true. I need to remember this, as the habits and moral foundation that we are working so hard to build in them is so that they grow up to be good people in this world.
I understand where he is C.K. is coming from in his perspective on kids and smart phones. I am pretty sure that when he said these things, he didn’t think “Oh this is going to be a topic on many blogs.” (or maybe he did, he kind of is a self-made-marketing genius.) All that said, this goes down as another parenting decision you have to make for your family and decide what is right for your child. If it makes sense, great. If it doesn’t, don’t do it. Say no, explain why.
We made sure when our daughter got her cell phone, that the rules and expectations were clear as to what she can and cannot do with a cell phone contract. While I totally get what he says about losing yourself when you have a phone, limiting your kids usage will prevent this.
Free Cell Phone Contract For Kids – Set the rules early for your kids and their cell phones with our easy to read, free downloadable cell phone contract.
Our kids started a new school. The new school requires me to pick them up, drop them off and they will have several after-school activities that well have me frantic that I am going to mess something up. It’s 30 minutes over there. I remember the feeling of my parents being late and me not knowing where they were. So we decided we would get the kids cell phones. I was hesitant since our son is only 8 – but after much consideration – we decided to move forward with the idea, well under 1 condition. We made the kids sign a kid cell phone contract and had a nice long talk about cell phone safety.
Cell Phone Rules for Kids
To us, it is important that our kids understand the cell phone rules that we’ve set up. Our kids’ cell phones rules were created to ensure their safety and also so that they can start learning some common sense about cell phone usage.
Kid Cell Phone Contract
Side note: Before getting to the phone contract: This is what works for OUR family. I have provided 2 cell phone contract templates. 1 is fill-in-the-blank. You write what works for your family as far as rules for your kids and cell phone usage. The other is the actual contract we had our kids sign.
Our kids are 8 and 10-years-old and had no resistance to signing as she knows that the phone is a privilege. We have rules that work for us like we have full access to her phone. Sure, I know a few of our cell phone rules might make you chuckle at how strict we are in regards to cell phone usage – but we are serious about the cell phone contract. Just remember this is just for our family, you do what works for yours.
Free Kid Cell Phone Contract Printable Download
Use our free kids’ cell phone contract to make sure your kids understand the rules when it comes to using your cell phone. We’ve included a blank cell phone contract template, as well as the contract that we use with our kids.
Our older kids are 8 and 10-years-old. This year, they are attending a charter school about 10 miles away from home. In addition to that they both are playing sports and have church activities and friends. We all of a sudden have 2 kids with busy social lives, especially our oldest. After many discussions, we have decided to get our oldest child a cell phone, if we could find a cheap wireless plan so that we can stay in touch at all times.
Both my husband and I are on Verizon. While we are both happy with our iPhones, we really didn’t want to add another phone line to our family plan, and surely didn’t want to be stuck in a contract for our 10-year-old.
Walmart Family Mobile
Thankfully we were introduced to Walmart Family Mobile service powered by T-Mobile. The Walmart Family Mobile service offers cheap wireless plans with NO contract and unlimited talk, text and web! How affordable?
For just under $40 a month, I have a direct connection to my 10 year old whenever I need her, plus Walmart Family Mobile offers great family controls. Here are a few of the family control options we have on our kid’s cell phone:
Limit how many minutes or messages can be used by any line on the account
Block usage at certain times of day
Set up to ten Always Allowed and Never Allowed numbers for each line
Receive alerts when lines on your account reach or exceed a Family Controls limit
Cheap Wireless Plan – Check. Now to find a cell phone. And do we go cell phone or smart phone…..
Samsung GS II
Z and I headed to Walmart and checked out the selections of phone. (view our cell phone shopping adventure) The Walmart Family Mobile program offers a great selection of phones, everything from a basic flip phone to a high-end Samsung Galaxy S 4 to Apple iPhone 5 (yes, you can get the iPhone 5 no contract.) We went middle of the road and bought a Samsung GS II. My sister had this phone and raved about it and now I know why. My husband and I decided that we would rather buy her a smart phone than regular cell phone – one reason is being able to track where she is at.
I will say that the cell phone shopping experience at Walmart was SO much better than any other experience we have had. There was NO pressure to buy a particular phone or plan. There was no up-selling of cases. We were offered a warranty (we declined), but the sales associate was NOT pushy. Setting up the cell phone plan was super easy. I just handed over my driver’s license, no credit check and no long term obligation. After we purchased the phone, the sales associate installed the sim card for us and went through basic features of the Samsung Galaxy S II. It took us a total of 20 minutes to walk-in, shop for a phone, buy a phone, get service going and walk out of the store. We had immediate service on the phone. BOOM!
While my husband and I are both iPhone people (he switched over to the dark side) – I am thoroughly impressed with this phone and Android! The biggest hurdles we have had is setting up a Google account for an underage child – but I’ll save that and a review of the Samsung GS II for another post.
Walmart Family Mobile Coverage
My Family Mobile, is on the T-Mobile nationwide network. While we are in large metropolitan area, several of our neighbors have complained about cell phone coverage on AT&T. Z hasn’t had any issues with coverage, at home, school or here nor there. Kids and Cell Phone SafetyWe’ve had many conversations with our kids about internet safety and now we are talking a lot of cell phone safety. We also have spent time talking about why we bought her a cell phone, who to give her number to, who not to give her number to, and we also made her sign a kid cell phone contract.
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