Before purchasing a cell phone for a child, many parents are wavering about the right type of phone to get. They should consider whether the child is actually ready for a phone and all the responsibility that entails. It’s not like they’re getting a landline of their own, with a cell phone, they’re getting access to texting, exchanging pictures and the Internet. It’s a monumental decision, but there are some definite benefits to giving your child a phone with prepaid minutes.
When you give a child a phone with prepaid minutes, there’s no contract. Every month, you’ll be able to track how many minutes they are using. When you want to upgrade to a better phone later, you’re not locked into a contract with the company for 2 years, which is standard for most phone company contracts.
Usually those phones with prepaid minutes are cheap phones that will get beat up by the child. They’re inexpensive, so the parent won’t have to worry about the child destroying an expensive phone. A simple prepaid phone with minutes gives the benefits of a cell phone without all the expense if the child breaks it.
Great for Emergencies
Most parents get their child a prepaid phone for emergencies. Whether you want to reach your child or want your child to be able to reach you in an emergency, a prepaid cell phone is a great way to do that.
A prepaid phone is like a trial run for a real phone. It allows you to teach the child responsibility. They can work towards their phone minutes each month instead of an allowance. They’ll start to understand that phone minutes are not free, and they’ll have to keep an eye on their usage.
Limits Texting and Minutes
When they are paying for the minutes themselves, it will limit their texting and phone calls. When they run out of minutes within a few days, they’ll end up with no minutes for the rest of the month or the rest of the week depending on how often minutes are purchased. You won’t get a huge phone bill with minute overages either.
Has Tracking Capabilities
Prepaid phones are cheaper and great for emergencies, so they’re also great for tracking the child in an emergency. A GPS-enabled phone can be a good thing for pre-teens and younger children if they’re placed in their backpack.
With a prepaid phone, you won’t end up with hundreds of dollars in downloaded songs, ringtones and games. This is one of the biggest problems with having a plan for the child.
Rough on the Phone
A cheap, prepaid phone will not cost as much as a better version with a contract. Kids will drop their phones, toss them around and spill things on the phones. An inexpensive phone can easily be replaced.
Before purchasing a phone for your child, make sure there’s a plan in place within the family for usage. Sit down and discuss what you expect as well as consequences for misuse.