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Newest Member: Schattenfell (61077)

User Topic: cell phones for tweens/teens
♀ 32550
Member # 32550
Default  Posted: 8:23 AM, November 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids are getting close to the age they "need" a cell phone. Going through the infidelity process I have a whole new perspective on cell phones and wanting to be able to use them as a tool to track my kids and keep them out of trouble, LOL. Looking to solicit advice from the collective wisdom of SI on what kinds of phones/features to look for, what services/add ons/apps I should get from the provider, etc.

FYI, my spouse and I have prepaid plans from Virgin Mobile for $30 a month because we found pretty much any prepaid plan from anybody is cheaper than a contract in most cases where we live. So right now we have no specific provider considerations or contract issues to consider in getting phones for the kids. Without your considering your input yet, I was considering getting my oldest the Kycera version of the blackberry on the Virgin Paylo plan, because while it does have internet and photo capability it seems that it is more trouble than it is worth to use consistently ROFL. So she would likely just be using it to call and text mostly.

TIA for your input!

BS 43, SAWH 38. M 15years, together 17. Body count in the triple digits. Both in recovery, trying to R.
Three kids under age 11.

Posts: 1503 | Registered: Jun 2011
SI Staff
Member # 10
Default  Posted: 4:10 PM, November 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bumping in hopes that those that can relate will read and give advice.

Posts: 10000 | Registered: May 2002
♀ 26928
Member # 26928
Default  Posted: 6:37 PM, November 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

NOTE: We have Sprint as our carrier.

The features I found most useful with two teens:
Unlimited texting
Family Locator

The texting is a must. We nearly had a heart attack when we received the first phone bill after adding my now 20yr old daughter onto our plan. Our plan (at the time) should have been roughly $100/mo for the three of us.
DD managed to text/talk her arse off, went over the shared minutes, and the bill ended up being almost $450.

Me - 45
DD(24), DS(21, PDD-NOS)

WH#2 (SorryinSac)- Killed himself (May 2015) in our home 6 days after being served divorce docs.
XWH #1 - legally married 18yrs. 12+ OW (that I know of).

I edit often for clarity/typos.

Posts: 9964 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Here and There
♀ 26651
Member # 26651
Default  Posted: 9:14 PM, November 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Our boys (tween and teen) have had cells since they were each 9. They have flip phones, no texting (in fact, it's blocked on both lines) and it runs us $10 each per month...well worth the "security" of being able to get our kids when we need to.

Me: BW/33 The kidlets: DS16, DS12, and DD10 The hounds: Three Shih Tzu's The felines: Two short haired kitteh's

Posts: 11775 | Registered: Dec 2009
♀ 36711
Member # 36711
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, November 23rd (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We share an AT&T unlimited family plan. It's an old one that we have rolled over - it's sort of grandfathered in. Anyway, the 13 yo texts incessantly after being warned about face timing with friends all night. Their texts tend to be eyeroll emoticons, one word texts back and forth, and Lol's. So face timing all night is squelched, as is Internet access. The "find the phone" is activated.

Explore the options available. Sometimes a few dollars more gets lots more available usage - safer than going over at a higher price. We also have notifications come to us when we are nearing a limit.

D-day(s),after years of TT and Gaslighting was Labor Day Weekend 2012, continuing for a week after. *Dammit! More TT 3/9/13
Really trending toward D- planning about it is my "happy place" now.

Posts: 1292 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Sunny Florida
♀ 32550
Member # 32550
Default  Posted: 6:31 PM, November 24th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks all for the input. I think for me, it is really difficult to find the balance of cost-effectiveness with being able to have the features similar to Family Locator.

I can find any number of no contract plans with unlimited texting, and sometimes even unlimited data too for a low cost but depending on the phone the apps/features can be very limited (like a flip phone). I don't want them to be able to take and receive photos, use the internet, etc unless I can monitor it. But to get a smart(er) phone that can GPS locate, etc the phone will be able to do a lot of things I can't track. Also with the prepaid/no contract plans, you don't always have access to call and text logs.

If I go with a contract that has Family Locator or similar, I am paying a LOT more each month for service and I am tied to the contract. And I have three a lot more for each phone will eventually add up as time passes.

Thanks again for the ideas. Gives me more to think about...

BS 43, SAWH 38. M 15years, together 17. Body count in the triple digits. Both in recovery, trying to R.
Three kids under age 11.

Posts: 1503 | Registered: Jun 2011
♀ 35812
Member # 35812
Default  Posted: 7:03 PM, November 24th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You don't have to pay for a locator. As long as the phone has some sort of basic gps, you can download Life360 and have a family tracking plan. Life360 has a Check-In function where it buzzes the person loudly to demand that they hit the update so you know where they are at that moment, and it has a panic button, that if someone on the group hits it, sends out a notice to everyone else along with their location.

Imagine a ship trying to set sail while towing an anchor. Cutting free is not a gift to the anchor. You must release that burden, not because the anchor is worthy, but because the ship is.

D-Day, June 10, 2012

Posts: 9894 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: So California
Topic Posts: 7

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