Smartphones for kids (middle school age)


New member
To the Rage3d parents, just wondering what your thoughts are on smartphones for kids? Anyone here with kid(s) between ages of 10-13 that have one? If so I'm curious about how you manage them with it, and just want to get a general feel for what other parents do. Some questions I'm wondering:

What type of smartphones are good for kids?

Do you use a parental control software, or just use the phone's built-in parental controls?

Do you block app purchases, and certain application usage or installation?

What kind of data plan if any? Or is it data over Wifi only?

How do manage their screen time? Via parental controls, or just tell them to get off?

My wife and I are starting to consider getting a phone for our son, who will be starting middle school in September. Because of our younger daughter also starting kindergarten at a different school, and since their dismissals will be around the same time we're thinking it might be a good idea to give our son a phone for emergency communication if my wife is ever running late to pick him up, etc. We also want him to stay in touch with his group of elementary school friends as they transition to middle school. We were considering just allowing him a simple voice/text phone with no smart/app features, but we both agreed he should be OK with a smartphone, or at least we're willing to let him try one.
Cheapest phone you can buy because it's going to get lost, broken, stolen or all the above until they get older.
Cheapest phone you can buy because it's going to get lost, broken, stolen or all the above until they get older.

Yeah absolutely. We're not considering anything more than $200 max.

T-Mobile actually has a handful of cheap phones that are free when adding a line to our plan. We'll probably go with one of those.
make them earn it, besides a 10yr old doesnt need a phone imo. I didnt give my kid one

Well, I did state the main reason we are considering giving him one. Of course its not just to play with. But like everything else he has it would be well moderated by us. He actually isn't even asking for one. Its so my wife will be able to call him to let him know when she will be there to pick him up from school, since my daughter is at another school 3 miles away gets out at the same time. Unfortunately I commute 26 miles to work so I'm not around during the day.

He's going into 6th grade at a new school in September. Things were different in grades 1-5, the teacher would wait with the students until they all got picked up. In the middle school here they just let them all out into the streets. Him having a phone will be good for communication and he's a relatively responsible kid so why not have it.
Bought the Moto g7 Supra (with Cricket Wireless @ 4 Lines for $100) for the 6th grader. Actually would probably work for high school age just fine. <$150 with fairly decent specs for the money. Good battery life as well which is nice.

Google Family for parental control.
We mull this over from time to time, as we have an 11 year old and it would sometimes be useful for him to have a phone. We're very concerned about giving him access to social media though.

I think we want to follow Jonathan Haidt's recommendations, about keeping kids off social media until high school.

Otherwise, I'm concerned about him breaking or losing his phone, as well as playing too many games, etc. In the next couple years, we'll probably have to be concerned about kids browsing porn too. We haven't decided how to handle any of that yet.
We already follow those 3 rules. :up: He does like to play a lot of games though so at times he fights us on that, and we have gotten a bit lenient on it since he's been out of school so much this year. I mean there's only so much he can do right now and i feel bad when he's bored. He does great in school and is a good kid (good social skills) so I'm not too worried. Plus when i was his age i played games for hours on end every day and i think i turned out ok.

Anyways we actually just decided what phone we're getting him. Samsung Galaxy A10e. Ordering it tomorrow, with insurance and case and screen protector lol.