What to Consider When Buying Your Child a Smartphone for the Holidays

The holiday season is just around the corner and children are starting to write their wish lists. One trend on wish lists this year is the rise in children asking for smartphones. Now more than ever, children of all ages, including more than 80 percent of children in both middle and high school, own a smartphone. If your child has a smartphone on his or her list this holiday season, here are a few items to consider before making your purchase.

Which smartphone is right for your child?

Depending on the age of your child, they will likely use the smartphone for different purposes. For younger children, basic smartphones such as the Pantech Marauder or the Samsung Galaxy Stellar can be great low-cost beginner options that will give your child a smartphone experience that is simple. If you have a tech-savvy teenager, they might prefer a more advanced smartphones with added features and functionality, such as the DROID RAZR M and Samsung Galaxy S III.

Is your child ready for the responsibility of a smartphone?

Having a smartphone is a big responsibility and it is important that your child understands your expectations. Parents can lay ground rules for when their child can use their smartphone and with whom they can communicate by using account management tools such as Time Restrictions and Trusted Contacts. Additionally, parents can also set Content Filters based on their child’s age to determine what content – games, videos and apps – is suitable and age-appropriate for their children to view and share on the device.

How will an additional smartphone affect my data plan and bill?

In addition to setting monthly allowances for data, texting and minutes for their child’s smartphone, parents can monitor data, voice and messaging usage through online account management tools such as My Verizon as well as through free alerts. For families with multiple devices, plans like the Share Everything plan feature unlimited talk and text while allowing users to share data across multiple devices on an account.  

Before buying a smartphone as a gift for your child this holiday season, carefully considering these questions can help provide you with the insight to make a smart gift-giving decision.