I’ve had lots of different protectors over the years. The plastic ones (even the expensive ones) tended to get more scratched up over time, but never smashed like a glass one. I’ve dropped and kicked my phone across a gravel driveway which gouged the crap out of the plastic protector, but did it’s job perfectly. Before that it was alright, but felt a little too grippy and thick for my liking.
I then moved to a Kmart $5 glass job… or maybe it was the $5 Officeworks protector… I had both in a pretty short space of time. My comment on these was that they never quite fit the iPhone 8 Plus quite right and the edges of the protector were never flat enough and tended to gather dust on those raised edges.
This time around I spend the money on a Belking Glass and had it installed by Apple on the day I got the phone because they have a tool that makes it align and sit perfectly. I will say that it is sooo slick and smooth as well as being very very thin which makes me happy.
As for the kids (and the wife) they have Otterbox Defenders or Unicorn Beetle cases (which are very similar and much cheaper) and provide full ruggard coverage and built in screen protectors. The only time we have had broken phones (or iPads) is when they weren’t in these cases so they come very highly recommended by me.