Verizon Family Tech Initiative and Why Getting Your Child a Phone Offers Peace of Mind

This post is a sponsored collaboration with Verizon; all opinions are my own.

Our family is very tech-savvy, and we like to keep connected and up to date with technology.  Last year, we made the big decision to get my daughter a cell phone.  She had been begging for a phone for years, and we had to figure out our plan as she was in 5th grade and nearing middle school.

We came to this decision to get my daughter a cell phone based on the amount of time she spent away from home, which included three nights a week at swim practice, going to friend’s houses after school, and staying after school multiple days a week.  We knew we could have better peace of mind if we got her a phone, with some guidance using the Verizon Wireless Family Tech initiative.

I know that getting a phone for your child can be a very difficult decision, so here are some great reasons to get your child a phone.

~ You can monitor when family members arrive or leave designated places with the Verizon Family Locator app

Once my daughter had her phone, we had much better peace of mind right away – and one of the biggest reasons was that we use the Verizon Family Locator on our phones to track her any time.

I set up the Verizon Family Locator app as soon we got my daughter a phone, and it has been incredibly useful for middle school and so much more.

Middle School

The app allows us to track a cell phone, and I also have it set up so that it send me notifications when my daughter gets to school and leaves school, leaves home and arrives home, etc.  Not only does it let me keep track of her whereabouts, but it can be a reminder for me as well that she is headed home, or that her bus is running late.

Verizon

This tracking features is so useful, I even have other parents asking me where the kids are!  (Has the late bus left yet? Did the bus get to school yet?). There was an incident where there was a small fire at school, and before the school even had a chance to notify the parents, I had gotten a notification that my daughter had left, and I was able to track her bus to the local high school where the kids had evacuated to.

As a busy parent, the tracker makes my life easier in general.  Let’s say my friend takes the kids to the movies.  I have been able to check to see when they are headed home so that I can be home or squeeze in a quick errand or get dinner started.

~ Mix and match with Verizon’s wireless plans

It helps to have different choices from your wireless provider, and Verizon lets us choose plans that work for us.  It’s nice to choose the features we need and also be able to adjust as needed, especially when we use a lot of data.  Plus, we have added on an iPad with wireless data and plan to add on a fourth cell phone for when my youngest is in 5th grade.

~ You can manage screen time

Just because your child has a phone does not mean it opens up a door for limitless screen time, apps, social media, and so on.

While my daughter’s phone has so many useful features, we do have to manage screen time.  This is probably one of the biggest things that parents worry about when they get their child a device, and screen time is one of those things that drives me crazy.

You can limit your child’s online time.
You can limit your child’s online activity.

We do this in several ways.  We take away the kid’s devices at certain times – this can be when they get home, before bed, for a day, for days, so on.  My daughter takes her phone with her almost any time she leaves the house, but it can be a bad habit to use the phone for too long, so we monitor the amount of time spent on the phone, and her online activity.  When she wants to install an app, she has to send a request through the App store that is sent to our phones so that we can review (and approval requires our password).  You can set up apps and programs to monitor what your kids do with their phones, from the phone numbers they call to the apps they use.

~ Establish rules, or even a contract

Giving your child a cell phone means that they have to be responsible for it, and also for their actions.  In our house, this means random checks to see what the kids are using, and I go into all the apps and check things out.  As a parent, it is my job to know what is going on.

Cell phones can mean bad habits – so set limits.  In our house, no cell phones at dinner or when we go out to eat.  Sometimes it means waiting patiently, because we don’t want to create bad behaviors (like the kids only behaving and being quiet because there is a screen in front of them).

Check out the Verizon Family Tech initiative here.

Verizon Family Tech Initiative

By | 2019-01-10T18:05:16+00:00 December 22nd, 2018|Parenting, Safety, Technology|44 Comments

About the Author:

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!

44 Comments

  1. Ashley December 24, 2018 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    These are awesome tips, even though I don’t have a daughter old enough to need a phone! Thanks! 🙌🏻

  2. Annie Cho December 25, 2018 at 3:49 am - Reply

    This is such a smart guide on phone usage for your children. I love that you monitor and limit their usage, and it’s great that you have to approve of the apps they want to download. You have lots of great parenting advice!
    xoxo
    Annie

  3. Bee - Bites 'N Pieces December 25, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Hm, I always thought that it wasn’t the best idea to get kids phones. This definitely gives some food for thought.

  4. Monidipa Dutta December 25, 2018 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Actually, hun, my mom used to do these rules and I feel they are cool.

  5. Sudipta Dev Chakraborti December 26, 2018 at 5:15 am - Reply

    This is such an excellent feature. I was not aware of Verizon Family locator app. Will share this info with my friends and colleagues.

  6. Jeanette December 26, 2018 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    This is something I really need to look into! My son just got a phone for Christmas and the original monitoring service did not work at all. I can’t wait to see how this works.

  7. Candy December 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Every household is different for when they get their child a cell phone. Do seem to be getting younger and younger which I don’t agree with.

  8. Tasheena December 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I have to check out the Verizon Family Tech initiative. This sounds like it would be perfect for my family and our current phone needs.

  9. Tomi C December 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    It is all about setting limits. It’s so important as without them the kids will be on their phones and grades may suffer.

  10. robin rue December 26, 2018 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    That sounds like such an amazing app! I am heading to get it RIGHT NOW.

  11. Amber Myers December 27, 2018 at 1:22 am - Reply

    This is awesome. My kids have phones, but there are rules. And they have no privacy. I look at their phones all the time.When they pay their own bills, that’s when they’ll have privacy.

  12. Ashley December 27, 2018 at 1:47 am - Reply

    I’m not ready for mine to have a phone but I do realize the benefits. One day I will get her one!

  13. Heather December 27, 2018 at 2:33 am - Reply

    People thought I was crazy when I got my girls a phone. But it’s important to me that they can always get ahold of me if they need me.

  14. Jeanine December 27, 2018 at 5:46 am - Reply

    My three oldest kids have a phone and although I was hesitant at first to get it for them I’m glad I did. This sounds like a really neat app!

  15. Safi December 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Wow thanks for sharing! I love that you can manage screentime and the family tracker sounds so useful!

  16. Noteworthy Mommy December 28, 2018 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Wonderful tips! This is something we don’t need to worry about just yet as my daughter just turned 4 but I know the time is fastly approaching! This tracking system sounds amazing!

  17. Ya December 28, 2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    My 6-year-old has been asking for a phone. NO SIR lol I think when he’s 12 we’ll get him one but I don’t see a reason now for him to have one. I am a Verizon customer so it is good to know all of this! thanks for sharing.

  18. Floby December 28, 2018 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    I also want to be sure where my kids are, and being able to give what they need at the right age is also important for me. Thanks for sharing this. It is nice of Verizon to have such feature!

  19. Tiffany December 30, 2018 at 2:44 am - Reply

    I love the locater app, I had never heard of it before. I have daughter in middle school and Im thinking she is going to be ready for a phone soon. However I think I might get her a flip phone.

  20. Dani Flanders December 30, 2018 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    This was a great read! We are having our first kiddo in April and already started talking about cell phones. Of course, we didn’t have cell phones until we were 16, but we live in a totally different world now. I think there are a lot of great benefits to kiddos having a cell phone as long as boundaries are set.

  21. Jennifer December 30, 2018 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I have a coworker who struggles with her kids’ phones in a sense that she worries that she can not monitor or control them as she’d like. I’ll definitely have to share this with her!

  22. Tracey Faulconbridge December 30, 2018 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    these are some good tips for parents with young children 🙂

  23. Terri Beavers December 31, 2018 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I have 3 grandkids who have their own cell phones now and I’m sending your link to their parents. They have the 360 app set up for them but one can never be too careful in this day and time.

  24. sri ramani December 31, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    This app is definitely a must for all parents .I will surely get it when my baby goes to school

  25. Courteney Noonan December 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    This is such a great app. It’s definitely something I’d consider getting when I have children down the line. Safety is everything.

  26. Samantha Dalit Nunes December 31, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    This is such a hot topic right now. I am on the fence about how I personally feel about giving my son a phone (when the time comes). The pros that you lined out are the reasons I’m considering it. There are some terrible truths about giving your child access to technology especially the internet (smart phones) because of the access you give others to them. A lot to consider.

  27. Angela December 31, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    This app looks so awesome for keeping track of your kids! I’m definitely going to set this up soon!

  28. Diana December 31, 2018 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Yes! My daughter isn’t old enough yet, but I definitely plan on getting her a phone once in school as a way to stay in touch and for emergencies

  29. Dwight Alleyne December 31, 2018 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    I have Verizon and I definitely made use of the location features with this. I love how Verizon makes it easier to monitor your kid’s safety.

  30. BMB December 31, 2018 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    We made our teenage son sign a contract with us acknowledging the rules for his phone. I use Family Link through Google and Life360 to control and track it.

  31. quijuana January 2, 2019 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Both my daughters have phones already and I have locators on them although they are rarely out of my sight. However, we live in Texas near the school shootings and that was enough for me to make the decision that I needed to be able to reach them at a whim. Thanks for the post.

  32. Heather January 2, 2019 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Our now 10 year old daughter had the Verizon Gizmo watch for a couple of years before she received her own phone. She has so many activities and is always on the go so I feel great knowing she has a phone. We know where she is and she has the ability to reach out to us at any time. We do have the family safety plan so only numbers I add to her call list are able to reach her. Definitely a great thing for our family!

  33. Kesi January 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Verizon offers mothers a peace of mind! When it’s time for my children to have phones I may have to consider witching services. I love the idea of the locator app and managing screen time! Thanks for sharing.

  34. Carmela January 2, 2019 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    The Verizon app looks very helpful. Owning a cell phone is a great privilege for a kid, and the app you reviewed sounds like a good monitoring tool.

  35. Becca Wilson January 2, 2019 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    We have not made it to the point of getting our son a phone with service. I am definitely a little nervous but this makes me feel a little better.

  36. Autumn Murray January 3, 2019 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Timely for me as I am on the fence about getting my son a phone and trying to weigh the good with the bad. I will look into the Verizon Family Tech initiative. Thanks.

  37. Christina January 4, 2019 at 3:07 am - Reply

    I do love the idea of the Family Locator app and being able to manage screen time and set healthy boundaries and limits. It’s a difficult decision and we’re all in new territory as parents as cell phones didn’t come out anywhere near that age for most of us, and definitely did not have access to all of the things they do these days (good and bad)!

  38. Renee | The Good Hearted Woman January 4, 2019 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    When my kids were young, the internet and cell phones were like the Wild West – with few options for parental control or oversight. I’m glad to see that phone technology is starting to catch up with itself.

  39. Angie January 5, 2019 at 3:14 am - Reply

    It’s great to know there are all these options to keep our kids safe with a cellphone. I think it’s a great idea to give kids a phone to stay in touch. My parents got me my first cellphone when I was 14 and it was wonderful how easy it was to stay connected with them. Especially if I had to stay late at school to work on a project or we got dismissed early from school.

  40. Tiara January 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    My kids aren’t old enough for a phone just yet, but I think all of these things are so important to think about and implement with phone usage.

  41. Megan January 5, 2019 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    What? This is totally awesome. I love that technology can help keep your family safe. I have to check it out.

  42. Grace Hodgin January 7, 2019 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I like Verizon and what they offer too. I think in today’s time that cell phones are very necessary for kids. I can understand why it gave you instant peace of mind. My grand son just got his this year and now we can text and keep connected better so I love that he has one.

  43. Lori Bosworth January 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    I can understand why parents would be reluctant to get their child their own phone. But there are good reasons to get them one and I like that you can control the apps they install on their phones.

  44. Neely Moldovan January 16, 2019 at 1:30 am - Reply

    I honestly love this! Raising a little boy I constantly think about things like this especially tech stuff!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.