Teenagers live in a completely different world to their parents. In their parents’ day, reality TV was unheard of. At the weekend, instead of updating Facebook, young people spent their time hanging out with friends in the real world. It was a more wholesome place, less troubled by body hang-ups and a massive sense of entitlement. But time has moved on and today’s modern teenager deems it their God given right to have a mobile phone and any number of other technological gadgets. So, if your teenage daughter is begging you to buy her a new iPhone (or any of the latest handsets), is it a good idea to invest, or should you suggest she starts saving her pocket money instead?
Reasons to Buy a Teenager Daughter a Mobile Phone
- She deserves it – Tough call, but in general, if your daughter is a sweet little angel who never normally asks for anything, would it really be so bad to buy her a new iPhone? Of course if you can’t afford it, then the answer is yes, but if you can afford it, go on, make her day.
- To help her keep in touch – Broken families are not uncommon these days. More children than ever before are living in a single parent family and many of those kids never see the absent parent. This can be extremely damaging to the child, but if the problem is one of distance, a mobile phone can help keep the lines of communication open. Buying a teenage daughter a mobile phone when you don’t share a home with her will help you communicate with each other regularly and ease the financial burden on the primary carer.
- To improve social standing – Mobile phones are a status symbol amongst teenagers and having the right handset can help establish a teenage girl as ‘cool’. The trouble is, top of the range phones like the iPhone 5s are expensive, which is why parents often baulk at forking out. But if you find a cheap deal, your daughter will be ecstatic and you won’t be financially bereft every month.
Reasons Not to Buy a Teenage Daughter a Mobile Phone
- Daughters’ behaving badly – If your daughter has been staying out late and her performance at school is suffering, now is not the time to reward her bad behaviour with a new mobile phone. Instead you should be grounding her for life and enrolling her in a convent until she turns 18.
- Too expensive – New mobile phones can be expensive, especially if she wants a sought after model such as the iPhone 5s. This is off-putting for many parents, especially at expensive times of the year such as Christmas. Unfortunately, it is hard to say ‘no’ to a tearful teenager who is insistent that her life will be officially over if they are not given a new mobile phone. But don’t panic because there are some great deals out there if you go looking.
iPhone, Android or Blackberry?
There is little point in making an executive decision about what handset to buy. Teenage girls are extremely opinionated and just because you think Blackberry is cool it doesn’t mean they will agree. And if you buy the wrong handset you can look forward to months of intense sulking and histrionics.
Keeping the Cost Down
There is no doubt that mobile phones can be expensive in the wrong hands. Teenagers in particular are very good at using their phones 24/7 and then acting surprised when the bill is several hundred pounds worth at the end of the month. However, you can avoid this problem by opting for a SIM only deal with built in free minutes, texts and data. You will get more for your money than a standard mobile contract. It will also be a shorter contract term—some are available for as little as one month.
Sensible Phone Usage
Teenagers are renowned for their excessive phone usage. It is not unusual for a teenager to send several thousand text messages in one day. In fact how they get anything done is a miracle. However, teenagers need to be taught to use their mobile phones sensibly. This means not texting all night long and definitely not accessing Facebook whilst on holiday abroad. The best way to avoid any problems is to make it quite clear in the beginning that you will withdraw all phone privileges if your daughter isn’t sensible about how she uses her phone. The threat of losing her precious phone should be enough to keep her in line.
Before buying a new mobile phone for a teenager, look into what deals are on offer. 1 year SIM only contacts represent great value, but if you can’t afford to buy a mobile handset up front, you may have to opt for a standard contract instead.