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Have you thought about how to give them a phone when they’re not quite ready? “Mom?  Can I please have a phone?”   That is the question that I heard from my 10-year-old last week.   I wasn’t ready for him to have a phone… not yet.  I was, however, ready to give him a little more responsibility (and a way to reach us when he wasn’t with us).

how to give them a phone when they aren't ready

I was ready to give him a little bit of freedom, like biking to a friends house in our neighborhood.   The thing is… I needed to know where he was, so his ability to go off on his own a little still came with my supervision.  I knew that he wasn’t quite ready for the responsibility that comes with a phone, but I also knew just what he WAS ready for.

A GizmoGadget by Verizon Wireless.

We have been using GizmoGadget’s with our kids for years and when one child transitions to a phone, the Gizmo is passed down to a younger sibling.    We have the LG GizmoGadget. It’s a smartwatch that allows kids to call and text caregivers — without having to take on the responsibility and expense of a smartphone. It is equipped with built-in GPS tracking and limited smartphone functionality; it was named a PC Magazine Editors’ Choice.

It gives me peace of mind knowing where he is at all times when he isn’t at home.  I can follow them on their GPS and get alerted if they go outside of the area that I’ve allowed.

I love that the texts and contacts are all pre-set texts/contacts that I’ve set up. Once parents download the GizmoGadget companion application, they input the call and text numbers of the individuals allowed to interact with the child. When the watch receives a call or text, parents are alerted on their own devices.  When sending a text, kids have the option of using emoji, a brief audio message or one of nine predetermined messages.

The GizmoGadget also has games and a step tracker and more, so the kids think it’s fun.

I have set it up that if I call them and they don’t answer, it automatically answers, so I can listen to what’s going on – which means I will know that they are safe but didn’t hear the gizmo.

You can find out more of the GizmoGadget features here:
GizmoGadget features here

I will always be the kind of parent who wants to know where my kids are, what my kids are doing (on & offline).   It turned out that 61% of parents “have checked which websites their teen has visited” according to the Pew Research Center. Between giving teens privacy and freedom to express themselves, and also ensuring protection from the potential dangers of the internet, parents face a delicate balance.

Verizon Wireless has created tools that help balance trust and safety (find them here ). With tracking programs and apps that also limit teens online activity, Verizon Wireless is dedicated to bridging the gap between safety and freedom. Verizon Wireless and The Parents’ Guide to Kids and Tech by diving into a topic all parents can relate to.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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1 Comment

  1. I started my kids with an ipod, one that can text, when they started babysitting.