This post is sponsored by Trademore. I was paid for this post.
For my oldest son’s 9th birthday I got him his first phone. He had been wanting one for a while and since he has so many extracurricular activities going on it made sense so he could contact either myself or his dad when he was on trips alone.
Of course, his preference was an iPhone, but since it was his first phone, I didn’t want to make such a big investment upfront not knowing how he would take care of a phone. However, after some months of good behavior at home and at school I decided to give in and allow him to have his first iPhone.
Therefore, today I thought I would share some tips with you guys just in case you’re considering getting your kid their first iPhone AND also I’ll be sharing why Trademore is the company that I recommend you get their iPhone through.
Before Getting Them A iPhone Test Them Out With A Cheap Phone
An iPhone is a big investment for anyone. They’re an expensive piece of digital equipment and you need to know that your kid can handle the responsibility before you make that investment.
So, get them a cheap phone. There are plenty of cheap smartphones on the market. Get them one for less than a hundred dollars and see if they can use it responsibly and, most of all, take good care of it.
I started my son off with a phone from a large retail chain. I was able to get the phone, a case, and the line activated for under $100. It was a smartphone, so he could have his app for Drumline, and do basically everything that an iPhone would allow him to do anyway.
Plus, since I did the prepaid plan with a large retail chain retailer, if he didn’t keep up with what was expected from him, I could just not renew the plan without putting my other phone lines at risk with my carrier.
After giving them a trial run with a cheaper phone for a few months you can then make the decision to buy them an iPhone when you think they’re ready and when you can afford it.
Let’s face it, things are a lot different than when many of us were kids as I didn’t get my first phone until I was a teenager and it was at my own expense.
Purchase Them an Unlocked Phone from Trademore
Always buy an unlocked phone. What I mean by unlocked is you want to make sure that the phone you purchase isn’t locked for use to any specific wireless carrier. The reason I suggest having an unlocked phone, especially for kids, is so you’re not tied to a specific wireless carrier.
As I mentioned earlier, my choice of phone service for my son was available at a large retail chain. This is because it’s much cheaper than adding a line to my wireless carrier and it gives me the option to put service on the phone without committing to a contract. Therefore, my son is more motivated to keep all his ducks in a row because at any time I can suspend the service if he doesn’t.
Trademore has a variety of unlocked and locked phones (if you do plan to add your child to your current wireless carrier plan) available for reasonable prices.
Put Them on a Cheap Plan
Making the decision to get your child a phone doesn’t mean that you must add on another bill of $100 per month.
There are lots of providers now offering specialized plans aimed at families. As I mentioned earlier, my choice of cheap but effective plans is a plan from a large retail chain.
There’s no contract and you don’t have to pay any activation fees. Their 4G service covers the entire country and they offer extremely low prices when compared to other providers.
For example, the plan I use for my son’s line costs $24.98 per month. This includes unlimited talk, text, and data. This is 1GB of 4G and then it drops down to 2G.
If it weren’t for certain services that I need from my wireless carrier such as my mobile hotspot, I would have this plan myself as well.
Create Them a Child Apple ID
Before giving your child their iPhone it’s important to make sure that you create them a “child” Apple ID. Don’t use your Apple ID on their phone or make them an “adult” Apple ID as it’ll only cause you problems down the line. This is especially true if you ever find yourself needing to contact Apple support for any reasons on their behalf.
The child Apple ID gives you full control over the type of content they can access. It also prevents any unauthorized purchases, such as through the Apple Store itself and through in-app purchases.
The good news is that it couldn’t be easier to set up a child Apple ID. AND kids under 13 can’t have their own ID without parental consent.
Steps for Creating a Child Apple ID
- Go to Settings and search for your name. Click through to Family Sharing and then add a new family member. You’ll be prompted to create a child account.
- Enter your child’s birthday and click through the various privacy disclosures.
- Add your payment information.
- Enter your child’s name and create their Apple ID.
- Set a password and choose your security questions.
- Remember to turn on ‘Ask to Buy’ so any purchases go through you.
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
Create a Family Sharing Account Where You’re the Organizer
Family Sharing is a cool feature from Apple that allows you to control and filter the content your child has access to. It also allows you to share any content you’ve already purchased with your entire family.
There’s a limit of six family members per account and you can share the same credit card, so all purchases must be authorized by you.
But to gain access to this feature you need to first create a Family Sharing account.
Steps for Setting Up a Family Sharing Account
Before you go any further, you should keep in mind that purchase sharing must be enabled for you to have control over your kid’s spending.
So here’s how to install Family Sharing.
- Go to Settings and select your name.
- Press Set Up Family Sharing and then Get Started.
- Follow the instructions to set up your family.
- Invite your family members when prompted.
Why I Recommend Using Family Sharing
With family sharing, you can take advantage of features such as:
- Purchase Sharing: This allows everyone’s purchased apps, music, movies, books, and TV shows to be shared without having to share an account.
- Apple Music: Allows everyone to be able to access Apple Music without everyone having to have their own individual account
- iCloud Storage: Allows everyone to share, at minimum, 200 GB of iCloud storage. Great for families who are paying for individual subscriptions.
- Location Sharing: Allows you to share locations with family members.
- Screen Time: Allows you to share phone usage statistics.
Right now, I use the Apple Music, Location Sharing, and Screen Time features as they allow me to keep tabs on what my son is doing on his device without having to constantly check his phone like I had to do with his last one.
Apple Music is just a bonus so he can have access to the music he likes to listen too. I was a little sad about canceling my Amazon Music subscription, but I must admit Apple Music is starting to grow on me as well.
Set Up Screen Time
Screen Time is a feature that Apple introduced not too long ago, which is why I do believe they are a good choice for kids since it allows you to set boundaries without having to install a 3rd party software.
By using Screen Time, you can limit how long your kid can be on their iPhone. This can include the number of hours they spend playing games or simply locking the phone for certain periods of the day.
Of course, they can still make calls if there’s an emergency, even if they’re locked out.
Steps for Setting Up Screen Time
Here are the steps you need to follow to set up Screen Time:
- Go to Settings and click Screen Time from your child’s device
- Click Continue and This is My Child’s iPhone to get started.
- Select a passcode (this is a passcode your child won’t need, and the passcode will also allow you to make changes to the settings on their device from your iPhone as well)
- Enter their downtime (During the downtime hours your child will only be able to use the apps that you allow and make phone calls. You also can set downtime to be the same every day or customize it to be different on certain days.)
- Set app limits (You can go through and set as many, or as little, limits as you like for a variety of categories such as social networking, games, entertainment, and more. Alternatively, you can opt to limit all categories of apps after a certain time period has been reached per day)
- Set always allowed (If there are certain things that you always want to allow during downtime and when the category limits have been reached for the day such as the phone, messages, and Facetime, you have the option to do so under this section)
- Set Content and Privacy Restrictions (This section allows you to really drill down on what they can do with the device. You’ll be able to manage things such as what changes that can make – passcode changes, account changes, etc. -, store purchases and redownloads, content restrictions, and more)
I know this may seem like a lot, but it makes sure that your child really can’t access or purchase things that they shouldn’t be while also making sure they aren’t able to spend all day with their face in their phone as well. After the initial setup, you’ll have peace of mind about what they’re doing on their phones. Therefore, the time you spend going through all these settings will be well spent.
Go Over Features and Settings with Your Child
iPhones can be very advanced for new users that are switching over from another phone brand. Therefore, I recommend that you go over the following features and settings with your child:
- Apple ID: Your child should know their Apple ID login info. They’re going to need it for the app store and other various Apple features. You’ll have already set up the “Ask to Buy” feature so before they can make any downloads (even free apps) you’ll have to approve it from your device. Just make sure when you give your child their Apple ID password that you let them know the password shouldn’t be shared with anyone (even their siblings).
- Passcode: Let your child set their passcode so they’re able to remember it. Also, depending on the iPhone version they have they’ll be able to set up Touch ID or Face ID. My son has the iPhone 8, so I assisted him in setting up his Touch ID. The good thing about having Touch ID instead of Face ID on a kids iPhone is that you can program in one of your fingerprints as well for easy access to the device. Just make sure your child not only keeps his passcode private but also makes it something that they can remember. If they get their device disabled because of a passcode lock, the only way to remove the passcode is going to be to erase the device and if they haven’t backed up recently, they’ll lose everything.
- Find my iPhone: This is one of the most important features because if your child ever loses their phone this feature needs to be enabled to be able to locate it. Make sure your child always knows to leave this setting on.
- Siri: Siri is a fun feature for kids so helping them get this setup will get you some bonus points.
- Briefly Explain Screen Time Settings: While you don’t need to show your kid the setup process of how you enabled Screen Time, it can be a good idea to let them know that they will only be able to access apps at certain times of the day and/or for a certain time limit each day so this doesn’t come as a surprise.
- Enable Two Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication is one of the most secure security features that Apple provides. If someone does figure out your child’s Apple ID password, the only way they’ll be able to log in is if they have the verification code that is sent to either (a) another trusted device, or (b) a trusted number. For my son’s two factor authentication we set up both of our phone numbers as a trusted number to make sure he never gets locked out of his Apple ID.
Install an Online Monitoring App
Want to monitor your child’s online activity a little more in-depth than what the Screen Time feature will?
This is a cool app that allows you to use real-time web filtering, install time tracking, and provides a full report of the websites and apps your child is spending their time on.
This way you can track your kid’s web activity without making them feel like you’re invading their privacy by forcing them to hand over their phones.
I’ll be honest and say the setup process was a bit annoying as it kept glitching in the beginning, however, once I was able to get the account setup on my son’s phone things have been smooth sailing from there. All features aren’t available for iOS users yet, however, it does the main things I need it for such as:
- Showing location down to the exact address
- Showing exactly what app or website my son is on in real time
- Showing his exact search terms in the search engine and exactly what website it takes him too
- Gives child safety ratings for websites
- Gives options for setting additional rules
Final Thoughts on Purchasing an iPhone 8 From Trademore for My Son
Overall, the purchase process of my sons iPhone 8 all the way up to the setup process was extremely smooth thanks to Trademore. I highly recommend them because the phone was in excellent condition and priced reasonably. The best part is depending on the brand of your child’s old phone, you may even be able to sell that phone back to Trademore to lower the initial costs of your child’s first iPhone as well.
Does your child have an iPhone? Any tips you think that should be added? Make sure to share them with me in the comments section below.ive
Disclosure: My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies.
These affiliate links are not associated with Trademore.