5 Things We Learned From Giving Our Kids Cell Phones

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Do your kids have a cell phone? Here are 5 things we learned after we gave our kids cell phones.

Last year, our older kids started a new charter school that was 30 minutes away from the house. Having 2 younger kids at home and commuting back and forth to pick them up, as well as coordinating after school activities – I wanted to be able to get a hold of them if I ever needed to. So, we trotted on down to the store and picked them up cell phones. We originally set them up on Virgin Wireless, because hello $35 a month.

What We Learned From Giving Our Kids Cell Phones

Over the school year, we learned several things about giving our kids cell phones, including the fact you have to teach your kids cell phone etiquette!

If you are contemplating giving your child a smart phone or cell phone – read this.

tips kids cell phones

1. Expensive Cell Phones Should Not Be Given To Young Children

So, the first phone we bought for our kids – my son still has and my daughter lost her phone in the first month. We didn’t pay much for the phones, so I wasn’t too worried about my daughter’s going missing – but still was unfortunate. Think twice before buying you child an expensive phone!

2. Smart Phone Contracts Work

We instituted a smart phone contract with our kids and it worked well.

kids smart phone use contract

Our kids are young enough to see that owning a smart phone is a privilege. A cellphone isn’t a need, definitely a want. If you are paying for the phone, they should know and obey the rules.

3. Cell Phone Rules of Etiquette 

Teach your kids when to text and when not to text. Explain appropriate and inappropriate photos. Educate your kids on why it’s not okay to record conversations with the audio recorder. Believe me, these are things you will want to teach your kids when they have a cell phone.

4. Kids Just Want to Text and Game

So my kids just want to text and honestly, texting was the best way to get ahold of them. In the car pool line, it was easier to send a text saying “Still in line.” Every time I called my son, he put someone else on the phone or would sit there quiet or would ask about a snack.

scratch-wireless-tween-cell-phone

He’s a kid – texting worked great. Don’t worry too much about minutes – just get a phone they can text with.

With all of the gaming apps

5. Know What Your Kids Are Doing and What Apps They Are Using

This post was originally written in 2014. Since then, most kids now a days have smart phones, not the old cell phone! Smart phones have a plethora of new challenges including all of the various apps available for kids to download.

We definitely recommend you know exactly what apps are on your child’s phone, which they are using and how they are using. Here are recent posts addressing the subject:

Continuing our 31 days of Kids and Technology – here’s a little insight we learned from giving our kids cell phones.

Do Your Kids Have Cell Phones?