Handing a cell phone over to your child is a decision that parents constantly grapple with. If you are considering giving your child a smartphone, check out this post to learn about Verizon’s Just Kids Plan!
Disclosure: I am partnering with Verizon. All opinions are my own.
Considering Giving Your Child a Smartphone?
Our family is at a crossroads for this upcoming school year. For the past 4 years, I have driven my kids 15 minutes to the bus stop and then they took the bus another 20 minutes to school. We live in a rural area, but we do have a choice into the kids school. We absolutely adore the school and my kids are thriving there, but since the school district is small, the busing structure next year is changing and our kids will no longer have a bus route.
In addition to the bus schedule changing, the start and end time for school is changing and the kids will be going to school earlier and getting out earlier. Last year they started about 1/2 hour after my school starts and got out about 1/2 hour later too. This year they will start at nearly the same time as my school, but they will be getting out a 1/2 hour earlier than I will. I can get the kids to school, but neither my husband nor I will be able to pick them up and there is no after school program.
We have a general idea of how our kids will be getting home, but we will be relying on other people to pick them up and have no way to really contact them once that school bell rings. This has started the big cell phone discussion and research in our home.
I teach high school. Most people who read this, know that. I also have a love/hate relationship with cell phones and children. As a teacher, I hate that kids have them in class, I hate that parents are not monitoring their children’s use like they should be and I hate that kids are so focused on what is happening on those devices that they are not learning or even engaging in life around them.
As a mom, I fear that same thing happening in our home. I am pretty vigilant about technology in our home. We do not allow it in the bedrooms, the kids are required to be in the same room with us while using it, I monitor the parental controls, app requests and their usage and although I am not as good with the time limits as I should be, I do also realize that playing video games online with your friends from school is the new way of playing with your friends.
I was staunchly against getting a cell phone for either of our children until they were driving their own vehicles and even with that, my plan was to treat it as my own device that they would basically borrow and turn in each and every moment they were not in their cars. If they had it at school, I would lock it up so they could not use it in building and no apps would be allowed on the phone. I mean, I have a plan because for me, interpersonal relationships that take place face to face and their education is SO much more important than their popularity and a silly smart device.
Verizon’s Just Kids Plan
With the changes happening for this upcoming school year, we are now looking at shifting to a smartphone for our children, so that we can contact them after those school bells ring. This would not be a phone for just one child and honestly, I plan on treating it just as my own phone that they borrow as I explained above. However, I needed to do some research and that is where Verizon’s Just Kids Plan came into focus for us.
Verizon’s Just Kids Plan is a plan built for kids but based on the needs and wants of the family. It comes with Smart Family Premium which allows parents to set time restrictions, add and remove trusted contacts, set content filters and get location alerts. The plan starts at $35.00/month and is an add on to a mix and match plan.
I like that we can bring in our own phones or pick from their massive selection of devices and that this model of monitoring allows my child a place to grow, make mistakes and learn from them. 78% of parents are interested in limiting their children’s wireless use and Verizon’s Just Kids Plan is set up to help parents like me do exactly that.
Join Us For a Facebook Live Chat TONIGHT
The three weeks we have spent researching, talking with friends and users of the Just Kids Plan and going in store to Verizon have been very helpful, but we are still not 100% ready to take the plunge. Please join me and other parents for a 30 minute conversation featuring expert advice and resources to help decide and manage this important parenting step.
Verizon’s Just Kids Plan Facebook Live Event Information
- Where: RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/TheOnlineMom/posts/10156497694148727
- Date: June 25, 2019
- Time: 8pm ET, 7pm Central, 5pm Pacific and 6 pm Mountain
- One LUCKY audience member who joins tonights chat will win an iPAD!