According to a recent survey, nine out of ten children and teenagers already have a cell phone. The average age for the first cell phone is eight to eleven years. Children without a cell phone often fall behind and feel excluded because they can hardly have a say in current topics among their peers without a cell phone.
That’s why even experts today recommend equipping your own child with a cell phone from a certain age. Retailers have long since recognized the need and offer, among other things, special children’s cell phones that are designed to meet the needs of the little ones. Exactly with these we want to deal here somewhat more near.
What distinguishes a child cell phone?
A children’s cell phone is basically characterized by the fact that it contains only the most important functions such as telephoning and SMS writing. In addition, it is equipped with special emergency call or security functions. Furthermore, children’s cell phones are very robust and can withstand a fall or a heavy downpour without dying.
Many children’s cell phones support a tracking function, so parents can check where their child is at any time. If they don’t want to use the service, they can still rest easy knowing that if there’s a problem, the child can reach the parents at any time. This is a huge advantage, especially for children who have quite a long way to school, for example, because parents can check on their offspring at any time and don’t have to worry unnecessarily.
When should my child get a cell phone?
Children are trying to persuade their parents to buy a cell phone at an increasingly early age. With success, because nine out of ten young people already own a cell phone, according to a survey by industry association Bitkom. According to the survey, around 94 percent of girls and 89 percent of boys between the ages of 10 and 18 have their own cell phone, and the age of entry is falling steadily. Already in the age group of 10-12 year old children, almost 82 percent have a cell phone, according to another result of the study.
Nevertheless, parents should not necessarily follow the trend, but wait as long as possible until their offspring gets a cell phone – according to the unanimous opinion of experts. Often the cell phone is just a status symbol with the kids and serves more as a toy without fulfilling the actual purpose of making phone calls.
As a lower limit, educators assume 10 to 11 years, earlier children should not get a cell phone. This is sufficient to enable the child to get to grips with new media at an early age. Parents should teach their child how to use a cell phone and clearly decide when the device may and may not be used. Cell phones at school should always be turned off before classes begin. This also applies to times when the cell phone should be turned off at home, e.g. during homework. However, many children “forget” this on purpose and then play with their cell phones the whole time. Therefore, set clear rules and make sure that they are followed.
Which cell phone is right for my child?
Your child does not need a current smartphone or cell phone. For starters, a simple prepaid cell phone or a special children’s cell phone is quite sufficient. Important functions that should be included are making phone calls and sending SMS or WhatsApp, everything else is gimmicky and could in the worst case cause more harm or unnecessary costs.
Where can I buy a children’s cell phone?
Either conveniently over the Internet or in a cell phone store in your local area. However, the stores often do not stock cell phones designed specifically for children, but only simple prepaid phones. But even these fulfill the purpose of a cell phone and are sufficient for the beginning. If your child has higher demands, talk to him about it and explain that if he shows responsible use of his first cell phone, he can happily get a better device in the foreseeable future.
Which tariff should I choose for my child?
In principle, a simple prepaid tariff without a term is always recommended, which is available, for example, from Fonic, Blau, T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2. Each provider has its own conditions. The only important thing is that you choose a prepaid plan, because then you have full cost control and can cancel the contract at any time, since there is no contract period for a prepaid plan.
There is also the option of opting specifically for a cell phone rate optimized for children. In contrast to the normal prepaid offer, special tariffs, which are available from many well-known mobile phone providers, include more security for you and your child for a monthly flat rate. This means that special phone numbers, expensive subscriptions and Internet use are blocked right from the start, and you can also locate your child at any time if necessary, without incurring additional costs.
Inform your child about cell phone use
When your child gets their first cell phone, they have a piece of responsibility in their hands – and you should communicate that clearly. Sit down with your child and show him all the important functions, even if he may already know better than you! Explain to your child the cost per call and text message and what their monthly budget is. Also clearly mention that the credit will only be topped up once a month, so that the child learns how to handle money and does not use up the credit pointlessly. For starters, 10-15 euros a month should be enough.
Should my child be able to use mobile internet, Blutooth, GPS etc. on his child’s cell phone?
If no mobile Internet tariff has been booked, Internet, Bluetooth, GPS and Co. can result in enormously high costs. Therefore, you should not provide your child with these functions or make sure that Bluetooth and GPS – if the cell phone has something like that – are turned off.
After all, your child is not immediately familiar with road traffic, but must first learn how to use them, and the same applies to mobile phones. For example, if the Bluetooth is permanently activated and the data is not secured, unknown persons could easily copy it to their cell phone or laptop and cause a lot of damage.