In every child’s life there are certain indelible rites of passage. Her first bike. Her first baseball mitt or roller skates or guitar. Her first car.
Yet none of these is more fraught with uncertainty, dread, and potential bankruptcy for you than her first mobile phone. OK, maybe the car; it’s hard to wrap your phone around a tree or get arrested for texting under the influence. But the hazards your kids will be facing on the information superhighway are just as real as those they’ll encounter on the road, if not quite as lethal.
(Photo: Clark Maxwell on Flickr)
You may also end up spending more for your kid’s data plan than you do on her first car. According to Scratch Wireless, a provider of inexpensive mobiles for teens, parents fork out an average of nearly $10,500 for one child’s phone service between the ages of 12 and 22. In a word, ouch!
A survey by AT&T reveals that the average child receives her first cell phone a smidge past her 12th birthday—and a third of those are smartphones. When should you give your child her first phone? How should you do it? What can you do to minimize the cost and/or pain? Is there any way of getting out of it? The answer to that last question is probably not. Here are the answers to the others.
When did or when will you get your child a cell phone? At what age do you think kids should have a smartphone vs a "dumb" phone?