Dear Megan,

There is certainly a case to be made for equipping teenagers with mobile phones these days — none more convincing for a parent than the ability to keep tabs on a child, or the ability for a child to call for help when in trouble.  (Imagine the old days when our cars broke down by the side of the road and we either had to walk miles for help, or rely on the kindness of strangers.)

There are many cheaper plans out there today — including pre-paid or pay-as-you-go plans.

And in many cases after rebate, you can receive the mobile phone itself for free.

Continue this conversation with your father — sit down, do the research together, talk through what you want and why, and be prepared to compromise.  You may not get that $400 phone you want … or full picture texting capabilities … but a cheaper, more affordable phone and plan is better than no phone at all.– M