Thursday, March 20, 2014


I am beside myself with excitement. Verizon and I hope the other cell phone companies have finally come up with parent friendly services to keep your teens safe on smartphones! Below is a link to the verizon site. This service does cost $5 extra per month but this is money well spent. You will be able to:

  • Program your teen's phone to shut off and turn back on a schedule. My recommendations, off during school, on for 4-5 hours, off for a couple of hours during homework time of just for your teen to have a break, then on for a few hours, and off off off at bedtime. Just think, no more give me your phone or I'll take it away fights.
  • Limit the apps that are allowed on your teen's phone and be the sole final decision-maker for downloads
  • Limit search engines searches to age appropriate ones. This will block porn sites, a must for boys, and some of those icky sites like chatroullette, and omegle that are like watching live sex shows.
  • Limit the amount of data downloads like movies, TV or games. When the pre-set data download is reached the phone will not download any further.
There are many other options, some of which I think are too invasive but there are lots of choices. Basically, signing up for this service sends the following message to your teen. I get how important having a smartphone is to you, and we are happy that you have it. But like getting your license there are levels of responsibility. First the written test, then the permit, then a limited license, and then the ability to be a driver with full rights and responsibilities. To me, smartphones should be structured in the same way. As your teen matures, and shows the ability to delay gratification and impulsivity, more responsibility for the phone will come. Kids in elementary and middle school should be very monitored and given few apps and hours of use. Halt the addiction before it gets the better of them, and keep them away from dangerous sites that can impair young minds. (that is my old fuddy duddiness talking)*