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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Son is getting a phone and I have questions...
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-07-10 2:01 PM
Our son turns 12 next month and we told him that he could get a cell phone.

We will likely get him an IPhone SE. It seems to be (semi) reasonably priced and has the features that he will want/need. He's comfortable using Apple products.

Our carrier is Verizon, we will have three smart phones - mine, my wife and our son. What type of plan would you suggest?

What type/s of parental controls do you use on your children's phones? Our son is responsible (of course, everyone says that) and we aren't overly concerned but of course we want to keep him out of harm's way as much as possible.

Thanks
Parent - - By PoopedColt Date 2017-07-10 2:31 PM
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. :blush:  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.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-07-10 2:46 PM
Right now my wife and I have the "Large" 6GB plan. Unlimited minutes and texting. We never even come close to the data limit, we're almost always connected to a network.

I'm not sure what kind of usage to expect from our son. He won't be able to use it at school and the summer activities that he's involved in don't alllow much phone use. Still, I know that he'll forget to connect to a network and be using more data than we do.

I'm with you on parental controls. We don't have any on his kindle or our (basically his) iPad. We've never had any issues. We've had the, "you need to be aware/careful online" talks with him and he knows what kind of problems can come from stupid online activity. I like to think that he'll continue to be responsible.

My head hurts whenever I look at phone contracts. I  hold not care much less about them and I have a very hard time following all the different plan explanations. I dread talking to a Verizon rep about anything.
Parent - By PoopedColt Date 2017-07-10 2:58 PM
Talking to the Verizon peeps was a million times better than our AT&T peeps. Every time I went there, they made me feel like an idiot and I never understood the next plan. Sometimes we got discounts. Sometimes we didn't. It never made much sense to me.  Verizon just seems normal. Do you use their app? I love that thing, especially compared to AT&T. You can easily see how much you've used and who has been using what. You can supposedly also block a phone from using data, and it seems like you can switch data plans any time.  I haven't tried that though. They make it look easy, but we all know how that often goes.

Right now my kids have used 1GB each in 8 days. But they are home with the wifi almost all of the time. The one month my youngest didn't use our wifi at all and was home out of school, I think he used 12-15. I was not pleased.  We didn't go over, but we used up all our bonus, regular, and a good bit of carryover that month.
Parent - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2017-07-10 2:49 PM
I use Android phones for my kids. Google has a family link system and I can set time limits, have it automatically shut off after a certain amount of time being used and I have to approve all app downloads. I also can limit the ratings of movies and videos they watch. Works well for me and I'm sure Apple must have something similar.

The phones my boys have do not have any service, only wi-fi so I'm no help there for plans.
Parent - By neustkg (Important) Date 2017-07-10 3:01 PM
Daughter, who is 16 now got a iphone SE last year when she was 15.  We actually purchased the iphone and did Verizon, too.  We have 4 gig data per phone (4 phones).  We did not really limit her at all (we trust her).  So far, it’s worked out.

Other phones (3 are Galaxy 7's and another phone that is similar to the Galaxy 7, but cheaper -- for our home phone number).
Parent - - By soundandfury (100 mile stud) Date 2017-07-10 3:28 PM
You should get the "All The Fucking Data" plan. They don't list it on the site; it's more like one of those secret menu items. They also have a plan for hipster parents, "All The Fucking Artisanal Data" and the "I Had All The Fucking Data Before It Was Cool" plan.
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2017-07-10 3:48 PM
:laugh: Is there an SUP app ?
Parent - By jennyO Date 2017-07-10 4:07 PM
Yeah, get the "All The Fucking Data" plan or else you'll eventually get the "We're Fucking You Over Every Month With Overage Charges Because Your Kids Are Assholes" plan. :mutmad::roll:
Parent - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2017-07-11 6:39 AM
pretty much :cry:
Parent - - By blazer85 [us] Date 2017-07-10 3:53 PM
I second getting the All The Fucking Data Plan.  If he starts on Snapchat, your data usage will be explode!  I have Verizon and we have unlimited talk, text and data. 

While my son is 17 and this really isn't necessary anymore, he and I are on the same Cloud.  Whenever he downloads an app, it shows up on my phone so I know what he is into. (They are almost always stupid games and I delete the app on my phone.) I can also set it up so I can read all his texts, but I don't do that except for very rare occasions to ensure he is not an idiot.  And no, I do not view it as an invasion of his privacy because I am the MOM and I pay for the phone. My son is also very responsible (and yes, we all say that), but even the best of kids can be morons.  Good luck!
Parent - By soundandfury (100 mile stud) Date 2017-07-11 10:48 AM
We've had to "invade" our kids' privacy before. Rarely, but sometimes necessary. A lot of things we just don't want to know, and as long as we're reasonably assured of their safety, we don't intrude.
Parent - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2017-07-11 11:21 AM
My niece and nephew both have phones now. I think they both have the SE, which I have. I like it more than the 6 or 7 as I like small phones. It's powerful enough to run most apps.

I'm on my brother's family plan. Originally we each had 2g each which got tight some months, but we use it a lot.  If he's going to be watching youtube a lot or videos it's best to get more data than you think.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2017-07-11 7:52 PM
Our kid got his phone when he was maybe 14, although it wasn't a smartphone. He got that a couple years later, before us actually.:shocker!:

You've got a good kid and like ours and everyone else's, he's been online since birth. Maybe I'm a liberal commie nutjob, but I've never believed in invading our son's privacy or putting controls on his computers or phone. Not that I don't care…I've always kept an eye out for dangerous behavior and caught it a couple times…but I believe that we grow only when we are exposed to the sunlight of reality and make our own decisions. Like you and I and every one of us, our kid made bad decisions but he turned out pretty damn ok like most of us. Constant connectivity with friends and the world is a fact of life nowadays…personally, I wouldn't stunt that in my kid without a good reason, although there certainly are good reasons for greater control in some families. You're the only judge of that but I'm thinking you don't have too much to worry about.

Oh, despite being an Apple freak for decades, I'm unfamiliar with the SE.:blush: And we're a verizon fios customer and I know that they have family controls, but for the reasons aforesaid we never used them.
- - By JimGo1 Date 2017-07-10 7:18 PM
We just got our daughter one - she is 13.   I'm not sure what we did but I get an employee discount from the evil empire Bell  formerly aliant.   No advice really - I've never been able to figure out these plans and they manage to screw you one way or another.   They are very diabolical and much smarter than I am.  We're not parental controls people - the kids have to figure out how to regulate and deal with these devices.  We offer a bit of guidance and warnings and she seems to be doing pretty well with it so far.  Good luck !!!
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2017-07-11 4:43 AM
Holy cow your oldest is 13 now? Didn't you guys like just meet and get married : pbbt::laugh::laugh:
Parent - By JimGo1 Date 2017-07-11 5:50 AM
yeah wow a lot has changed since then :laugh:  Still hanging in there !
Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Son is getting a phone and I have questions...

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