When Should You Buy Your Child a Phone?

The label was right over the zipper and everyone at school had em. In fact, if you didn’t have a pair, you might as well go sit in the corner at lunch and hang your head in shame.

Girbauds were the clothing item you had to have in the early 90’s. Rap group Kris Kross and others helped to make them popular among the masses and soon every junior high and high schooler was wearing these baggy, French-made blue jeans.

I’m glad the peer-pressure days of school are over and I sometimes worry about similar pressures kids have to deal with before school starts up every Fall.

I imagine that cell phones are among some of the “must-haves” for school children today.

But, when should you purchase a phone for you child and how do you decide?

I really haven’t had to deal with this situation with my step-son because when I came into the picture my wife already dealt with the cell phone purchase – seeing it as a necessity when he moved to be with his father for a time.

My brother says they got phones for their children at age 11. Since they don’t have a landline, they initially start them out with a “non-smart” phone and then move them to a smartphone a couple years later after they’ve proven to be responsible with it. They also limit their use of the phone / apps.

With the help of our friends at Twigby, who we already knows plans are great for tweens, we asked to hear from one of their customers in how / when they decided to get a cell phone for their children.

Here’s a little bit of our email conversation with Sarah.

How many children do you have?

3 boys, ages 6, 11, 12

At what age did you purchase a phone for your kids?

We just got Twigby this year, but tried different month to month plans starting when the older boys each turned 9.

What things factored into your decision to purchase a phone for your children?

My husband was active duty military at the time, and we lived over a thousand miles from family. I needed the boys to be able to reach me no matter what. They didn’t need fancy, they needed a reliable and affordable way to call me from a friend’s, text to check in, or in case of emergency.

And as they got older, it was a great way to keep in touch with dad when he was deployed. They were able to email him pictures and read his return emails from their phones. As a mom and military wife, this was priceless for me. And it made it so much easier for my husband to be able to communicate and not feel as out of the loop with us back at home.

Do you have limits / restrictions on their phone use?

I absolutely do, the internet is a big place, I want to keep them safe. I love the fact that just like any other internet connected device, I can utilize parental controls to keep them safe without impacting functionality. And at night they turn their phones in so that they aren’t up late playing games.

What has your experience been with Twigby so far?

Our experience has been amazing. I love being able to pay for only what we need. The boys rarely talk on the phone so we use very little voice but need unlimited texting which is included for free! And then we add just enough data to cover times when we aren’t at home on WiFi. The ability to customize a plan has been just what we were looking for. On top of that, coverage zones and reliability are just as extensive as our contract plan.

And cost cannot be beat, we have all we need and pay about $40 per month for both boys combined. No contract plan can touch that! We purchased certified Samsung smartphones, and they have been wonderful – no problems at all – and are considering upgrading to Apple iPhones because we definitely plan to stay with Twigby.

Well there you have it

Another great option we love about Twigby is that there is a good chance you can use a phone you already have as your tweens first phone. All you have to do is check to see if your phone is compatible with Twigby service.

And once you sign up for their service, you have total control of your child’s phone through what we believe to be is their best in class selfcare features.

Learn more about cell plans at Twigby

This post has been brought to you by our friends at Twigby. We only partner with brands we know / trust.

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