Make Sure Your Child is Ready for Their First Cell Phone with Verizon Family Tech Initiative

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This post was sponsored by Verizon. All opinions are our own.

The holidays are prime time for new electronics and many families are giving their children and teens the gift of their first cell phone. Every tween and teen wants one, plus they can be a huge help in keeping track of their activities and location, monitoring their relationships, and staying in touch when they’re out and about or while you are. However, a first phone isn’t gifted to give without careful planning and consideration. There are a few important questions you should ask before taking the plunge and purchasing a cell phone for your child.

Is Your Child Ready?

The biggest factor that plays into making the decision to get your child their first cell phone is their level of maturity. Are they responsible enough to take care of an expensive electronic device? Do they understand and follow rules that are set for them? Are you comfortable with having tough conversations about how to stay safe from online predators, how to handle cyberbullying, and other issues that go along with being connected? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you might want to allow your child a bit of training before their first phone.

With the GizmoWatch from Verizon, kids can stay connected through a smartwatch with very specific limitations. You can control who your child can contact via the watch with up to 10 allowed contacts, giving them the chance to learn how to responsibly use calling and text features. Parents can monitor their child’s activity, adjust the settings or turn off the watch completely, check their location via GPS, and more, through the GizmoHub, while letting their child get a taste of what it’s like to own their own cell phone. Learn more about this device and how it can help you get your child ready for their first phone at Verizon Family Tech Initiative.

What Size Plan Do They Need?

Once you have decided that they are ready for their first phone, you’ll need to make a decision about what kind of smartphone plan will provide them with what they need without paying for features that they won’t use. Verizon Family Tech Initiative has lots of great information to help you navigate Verizon’s Unlimited Plans, which allow you to mix and match different levels of coverage to give everyone in the family exactly the level of service that matches their personal use. Whether they need talk, text, and data without bells and whistles, a plan that offers a little more oomph for streaming, or an all-out plan with global access and high-level performance, each member of the family can have personalized plans within the same account.

What Ground Rules Should You Set?

Finally, before your child is allowed to freely use their new cell phone, it’s time for a very important chat about the ground rules for the privilege of using their phone. Coming up with a usage contract you’re your tweens and teens who are new to cell phones can be a great help in setting healthy boundaries. You can include limits like the hours they are allowed screen time per day, what apps are appropriate, rules about parents being able to view their text and call activities, and other safety and usage concerns. Verizon Family Tech’s homepage has a plethora of advice and information that can help you to decide what limits make sense for your family. Learn about monitoring apps, parental controls, and other important tools that can help you to set and enforce the cell phone ground rules that you have set for your child.

While the decision to give your child their first cell phone takes serious consideration, Verizon Family Tech Initiative can help with the best information, tools, devices, and plans that will keep your child safe and your whole family connected.

About Author

Shannan

Shannan Powell is a mom of 3 boys, who has worked from home as a freelance writer and blogger since the birth of her middle son. Her spare time is spent volunteering with her son's swim team, reading, and binge watching random shows on Netflix.

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Candy
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Candy

This is a big question for all parents. Plus the cost. Take everything you have said into consideration before purchasing a phone for kids

Jeanette
Guest

This year my son is going to get a phone and I am excited and scared all at the same time. I will be getting a monitoring program for him! These are some great tips!

Melissa Chapman
Guest

My son is getting ready to have a phone and i was happy to see some of these great ideas to give him guidance for phone use. It is so important to monitor a young user and keep them away from bad influences.

Denay DeGuzman
Guest

I love the idea of parents setting ground rules with children for cell phone usage. I’m glad you brought up bullying. In this digital age this often happens quietly, online without parents ever noticing. Opening up a clear channel of communication with your child is so important. Thank you for sharing these tech tips!

Alli Smith
Guest

I’m totally in favor of ground rules and I love the idea of being able to monitor what your child is doing on their phone or smartwatch. These are all great tips!

Sarah Bailey
Guest

It must be such a hard thing trying to work out when the right time to get your child a phone is. It sounds like Verizon are helping make the choice a little bit easier, what a great thing for them to be doing.

Amber Myers
Guest

This sounds great. We do have Verizon, so I’ll have to look into this. I always want my kids to be safe with their phones.

alison abbott
Guest

My kids are older, but this is such great advice to parents dipping their toes into technology with their kids. It will certainly be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the coming years.

GiGi Eats
Guest

Oh gosh! My kid is not even out of the womb yet! I cannot even imagine what sort of technology will be out when he is at the age for a cellphone!

Pam
Guest
Pam

A first cell phone is both a burden and a privilege. It’s important to set ground rules and make sure your kids know what is expected of tech time.

Dennis Littley
Guest

Great tips and information for any parent with kids ready or almost ready for their first cell phone. Thanks for sharing this.

Heather
Guest

We have been considering switching to Verizon. They really offer so much more!

Kita
Guest

My son was almost ready when he got his at 10 he has only cracked it once *knocks on wood* but so far he has been responsible. I think every parent is different and only get it if you feel he/she is ready.

Gervin Khan
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Gervin Khan

Very informative article to read by all parent including me. My kids are too young to have cellphone but these are great advice to those parents who have kids that are allowed to use this lond of device.

Catalina
Guest
Catalina

I think that children need some time to get what are their responsibilities! That’s why is so important to be able to control treir actions!

Rosemary
Guest

This is truly an important subject and one my friend is battling with. Her son is 12 and she wants him to have a phone so that she knows when he comes home from school, etc. It’s a big decision and one that has her conflicted. I’m not sure if she knows about Verizon family Tech Initiative. I’ll definitively tell her to check it out!

Shannon Gurnee
Guest

There are different members of my family who have Verizon. This sounds like a great initiative. Thanks for sharing.

Pieczątki Online
Guest

Studies in mice have proved that they are simply stupid in the environment of changing colored pictures on the phone. The child’s mind acquires thousands of unnecessary information. We’ll see the effects in a dozen or so years: /

bubble shooter
Guest

Thank you for this post. Best of luck!

Anil Verma
Guest

Hi Shannan, I love the idea you discussed in this article. Being a father of a cute little daughter, I think monitoring what my child is doing on the phone is very necessary.

Thanks for writing such an eye opening article.

Monika Chaudhary
Guest

Thank you so much for writing this post.
This is really informative post for parents.