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We asked you: how do you teach your kids about data usage?

How to teach kids about data usage

At Ting Mobile, we believe that you should be able to choose a data plan that fits you. There is absolutely no reason that you should be paying for data that you’re not using.  That’s why we offer a variety of phone plans, from pay-for-what-you-use data to unlimited. 

If you do decide to save on your monthly bill by choosing a flexible use or set data plan, however, you need to be a bit more conscious of how you and your family are using data. If you have children, you’re sure to know that getting them to understand data usage can be a bit tricky.

That’s why we reached out to the Ting Mobile community on Facebook and Twitter and asked them how they teach their kids about data usage, and we’re here to pass those tips onto you. 

We strongly recommend that you get a firm understanding of data yourself, before teaching others about what it is and how to use it.

Three children playing on devices while sitting on a sofa together.
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Set limits

The most common response we saw from parents was to treat data like a cash allowance. Simply pick an amount of MB that your kids are allowed to use for the month, and don’t let them go beyond this.

For example, Jack T (who happens to be one of Ting’s longest-standing customers) started his kids off with no data, then increased this to 500MB/month and eventually upped it to 900MB/month. 

Giving children power over their own data, within limits, is a great way to teach them about best usage practices. As Jessica B put it, when they run out, they have to deal without it and this will teach them not to use it so fast the next month. 

Teach them how to get the most out of Wi-Fi

Many parents in the Ting Mobile community, like Richard N and Emily C, said that they don’t allow their kids data at all, and instead only grant them Wi-Fi access.

Although it seems somewhat counterintuitive, teaching your kids to get the most out of Wi-Fi is a great way to teach them about data usage. Once they see all the tips and tricks for using Wi-Fi effectively, they’ll get an understanding of how little you actually NEED to use cellular data when you’re not on the move.

A couple sat on the floor with their daughter as she plays on a phone.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Get them to pay for it

We also saw several users suggesting that the best way for kids to learn how to use data responsibly was to have them pay for it. This doesn’t have to be for their entire usage, but perhaps once they go above an agreed-upon threshold.

Susan B, for example, says that since her son is a teenager, he pays for any bump up in data usage. Since the Ting Dashboard shows you who’s been using what, in terms of minutes, messages and megabytes, it’s easy to see who the jump in usage can be attributed to.

If your child is paying for the extra data that they are using, then we’re pretty sure it won’t be long before you notice a dip in the amount of MB that they are using. 

Let us know your tips! 

Everyone’s kids are different, and there’s definitely no one perfects method for teaching them about how to use data responsibly. In fact, as Ted M pointed out, kids these days are so technologically proficient that there’s probably a thing or two that they could teach you about using data! 

That said, we’d love to know how YOU teach your kids about their data usage. Let us know in the comments below.