Listen – if you've been searching for THE safest phone, the best phone for kids, or just an ideal cell phone to hand your kid that will allow YOU to stay in touch with THEM, but will keep them OUT of trouble, then this is the post you need to read. And this is the phone you need in your hands (or theirs). I've done all the research, looked into every avenue, consulted all the safe tech resources out there, and this phone really is the best phone for kids.
How to get a FREE cell phone for kids
Yes. You read that right! I have an offer for you to get a Troomi Wireless phone, FOR FREE, only now through TONIGHT at midnight MT.
Right now when you use my code: MINTARROW, that will give you the Troomi Samsung A12 phone FOR FREE.
Yes, completely free. INSANE RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!
All you will have to pay is the monthly fee, and there's NO CONTRACT.
The monthly service fees start at $15 which is the very lowest on the market right now. Lower than any of Troomi's competitors that offer “safe phones” for kids right now!
This is really and truly the cheapest way to give your kid a cell phone. EVEN if you think you don't need it today or for Christmas, but you might need it in the next year, it's a really good idea to get one now that you can activate in the next year!
What's the best smart phone for kids?
After doing HOURS of research, I came to the decision that Troomi is the very best cell phone for kids on the market. It gives parents complete control of who they can talk to, how much they can talk or text, whether they're allowed to picture or group message, and when and if they're allowed access to certain “safe kids” apps like Canvas for schoolwork, or non-addictive educational games, or safe-streaming music from Spotify kids, etc.
And it allows you to lock out the phone so that they're ONLY able to text or call the numbers you approve, or later on open them up to access to text and call just friends they add, or eventually open it up to calling or texting anyone.
How do the parental controls work on Troomi?
Troomi provides what's called a Parent Portal to the parents who purchase the phone for their kids. When you log into the parent portal, you'll see it's SUPER easy and user-friendly. You can give or take away access to calling and texting anyone, the use of apps (or no use at all – which is where my kids access is currently), certain periods of the day where they're allowed to or not (maybe only a couple hours after school and on weekends?), you can add or delete numbers or give or take away privileges ALL from the parent portal. When it comes to safe phones for kids, this is a HUGE game changer!
The parent portal allows you to make changes WITHOUT having to ask your kid to hand their phone over. I didn't realize just how helpful this would be until we traveled and one of my kids wanted to send us a picture of something they'd made at school. I was able to quickly log into the parent portal, give them access to picture messaging, and then they could send me the picture!
What age should I give my kid a phone?
I actually asked Bill from Troomi this exact question in my podcast interview with him a couple months ago. And his answer surprised me. “There's no perfect age to give your kid a phone, but I say wait as long as possible.” And I agree with him! We've been telling Anabelle that she's going to need to wait quite a while to have HER own phone.
But what's been awesome about having a Troomi phone for my kids to share, that they can ONLY communicate with their parents (Neil and me) and grandparents on, is that they're learning to safely use a phone, and use cell phone etiquette (i.e. don't text 7,000 emojis at once that mean nothing!) before I just hand them a phone and set them loose talking to friends and who knows who else they meet.
What to do if you don't have a home phone
The Troomi phone has been a GENIUS solution to our problem of not having a home phone. The #1 reason I didn't want a home phone is because my parents have one, and the ONLY time it rings is when a solicitor is calling. What's amazing about the Troomi phone is, since they offer true safelisting, spam calls and spam texts cannot go through (another reason why this is my top pick for “safe phones for kids.”)
So when we go out of town and want to still stay in touch with our kids, they can call us, OR text us (my favorite!!) and we can stay in touch with them without them having to ask a babysitter to use her phone, or wait around till we get home to tell us all about what's going on with them, what happened at school, ask permission to do something, etc.
Texting with my kids while I'm out of town or away from them has been 100% the very most unexpected blessing and favorite part (for me!) about having a family Troomi phone. Check out these cute conversations I was able to have with them while I was out of town – the best!!
What's the best phone plan for a kid?
We started with the most basic $14.95 a month plan from Troomi because it was the very least expensive smart phone and safe phone plan that we could find! Troomi's competitors start at $20 a month.
With this $14.95 a month plan, they were able to talk and text us as much as they want, we have GPS tracking if they need to take it to an after-school activity and call us when they're ready to be picked up or if they go to a friend's house, and it has all the basic functionality we need.
Once we were out of town and realized how much we wanted to be able to send photos back and forth, we moved them to the $19.95 plan that included picture messaging and group texts. Still really not bad for a smart phone plan!!
For $5 more, whenever we feel like we're ready, we can upgrade them to the $24.99 a month Discover plan that will give them access to a kidsmart safe browser and safe apps.
BOTTOM LINE: for $14.95 – $24.95 a month, you can give your kids a really safe and ACTUALLY smart phone that will keep them in touch with you, and OUT of trouble.
How to block kids from unwanted images and videos on cell phones
If you know our story of addiction recovery, you know how very personally important it was to Neil and me to make sure we introduced technology to our kids in a safe way, that wouldn't give them open or easy access to finding (even stumbling upon!) pornography or violence or predators online.
The online world can be really truly a scary place, ESPECIALLY for kids. That's probably why “safe phones for kids” is searched on Google so frequently.
Troomi has iron-clad safe protection that only allows kids to be on apps and a safe browser that gives you the ability to ONLY list the websites you want your child to have access to, rather than a wide-open web browser.
It also has military-grade security to protect your kids from intruders and predators.
How is Troomi's tech support?
I had to call them once because I couldn't figure out one of their features, and the nicest guy got on the line with me and in the most friendly and patient way, walked me through step-by-step until I was 100% confident I had resolved my issue. Their customer support is Nordstrom-level world class. Seriously.
The best safe phone for someone overcoming an addiction to pornography
I remember back when Neil was trying to just STOP using pornography as a daily escape from hard things in life, he asked me to help him find a safer phone that would just keep him from having the temptation walking around in his hands all day long. We tried really hard to find a good solution – maybe a flip phone? Maybe some kind of filtering app? The apps didn't work because he could jailbreak them so easily, and a flip phone wasn't sufficient for him to do work on his phone and provide for our family.
He and I both were like, “WOW we wish this phone would've been an option, back when we needed something just like this!!!” Now Neil has an open access phone after working the 12-steps and 5 years of being able to abstain from his addiction, but man that would've been nice back when he was just trying to do what basically a drug addict does when they're detoxing and going to rehab, just trying to initially break the habit.
How long will the Troomi free phone deal last?
This deal ONLY goes through tonight, December 15 until midnight Mountain Time, so hurry and get yours completely and totally FREE with code MINTARROW before it ends! When it comes to safe phones for kids this is absolutely my top pick and I know you will love it for your family, too.