Cell phone for a 9 year old

rob333March 11, 2009

He was in a situation this past weekend I want to never happen again! I am buying him his own cell phone. I want him to have GPS on him, and I want him to have complete control over a phone, not have to borrow one from someone who might say no or block his access (although it could get taken away, I'm willing to try to get him to keep it secret and sneak off at some point if he needs). It's getting worked out, but these things take time, we're wating on the report. I need help for the current situation.

What type of service, phone, etc. should I keep in mind? I have service, do I add it to mine? Have you done that? Was it sufficient or are there better ideas?

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My DD(9) has a cellphone and so do most of her friends. I just put her on my plan, so she shares our minutes and has 200 text messages per month, which she has never exceeded (well except when she visits her dad, but I usually increase the text plan for those times and change back afterwards). I feel much better about her traveling alone (plane to visit dad), walking to and from school sometimes, and playing outside without supervision, knowing that she has the cellphone. It also minimizes problems when she visits her dad as she can call me and text me without having to ask for and being denied permission to do so.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 5:32PM
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bingo on that (especially the last part)! I was thinking a disposable phone, but attached to my service seems easier to manage. Is it a lot more with her added, or just, say $10 a month more?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 5:36PM
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The basic rate is $9.99. I pay $5 per month for text messaging and another $5 for insurance (which I highly recommend as I know kids who are accident prone with cellphones). Works out to about $25 per month (after tax), but it is definitely cheaper than the disposable ones in the long run. I tried that before adding her to my plan and the cost was ridiculous. It was something like $.50 or $1/minute. If you need to cut costs or have a family text plan, you can shave off the $5 for text and if necessary, you can also go without the insurance.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 8:00PM
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Thanks Marie, I really appreciate all the info. I hate that we have to do this, but at least we have this option available. And you can't put a price on peace of mind. :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:36AM
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Don't know what service you have. But T-Mobile offers parental controls (I think it is called family allowances) We are able to block our kids from downloading games and ringtones (which can add up!).

We can also block their phone use at certain times...like after bedtime. We set their "Always allowed numbers" to be our numbers so they can call us even during blocked times...but no other numbers and we can always call them...but friends can not call in the middle of the night.

We share minutes and can allow them only a certain amount of minutes per month with the family allowance controls.

And we added on free mobile to mobile so it doesn't use minutes when me and dh call eachother or talk to any of the kids.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 3:54PM
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