What plan you need depends a lot on how you all use it. What kind of data do you/DW use now? I’m not familiar with the SE, but I know my kids use their phones for cheesy online internet games all…the…time…. If they’re on Wifi, it’s not a big deal. If not, it does add up. Neither of them do a lot with videos/music though. We also have Verizon. We switched from AT&T last Xmas when we all got 4 new iphone 7s. We are technically on the 16 GB/month plan, but somehow since the first month we get “8 free bonus GB/month for life” plus carryover. That’s plenty for us 4, especially since DH & I use maybe a total of 2 GB/month.
We don’t use parental controls and never have. My eldest got his when he was 12 (he’s now 19), and he was the first to have a smart phone. The youngest got his at 13. (He’s now 16.) Our parental controls consist of periodic talks about the dangers of the internet. And while their phones were theirs in theory, we reserve the right to go in and look at them whenever we want. However, we would only do so if there appeared to be problems with school, behavior, emotions, etc. We did have to pull that card once with my youngest as he was being cyber bullied by a “friend.” Fortunately, that was short-lived.
One thing we did do was require my eldest to pay us $65/month for his phone until he was 15. I told him that’s how much my bill went up and 12 year olds didn’t need smartphones. When he was 15, I dropped it to just the data amount – maybe $25/month. However, then his brother got one and I quit making either of them pay after a few months. When we added the 4th person and re-did the plan, our bill actually went down significantly. My eldest will never let me forget that one.
But, we do also stipulate that if we go over the data limit, THEY will be paying for any/all overages, not us. And if they drop/brake/lose/etc. they will be paying for replacements. But generally, they have been buying their own phones as well. My youngest got his 7 as a Xmas present and his first one as a bday present, but that’s it.