Sunday, May 24, 2009
A couple of weeks ago The Pea went on a playdate with a classmate after school. When I drove by to pick her up, no one was home. I tried to call her mother's cellphone... no answer. Father's cellphone... no answer. I called another friend, and it turns out that the mother works on Fridays so the kids should be at Grandma's house. I had no idea who Grandma was or where she lived or what her phone number was. FULL-BLOWN PANIC!!
The ironic thing is, she does have a cellphone. I was given a Kajeet phone -- a cellphone service especially tailored for kids -- to review, and I hadn't activated it yet. I was driving myself crazy, wondering whether The Pea's friend had forgotten about the playdate and gone home with her grandma, leaving The Pea to wander around the schoolyard until some crazy child killer picked her up. If only I had given her the phone!!!
Fortunately, the dad finally answered one of the hundreds of voicemails I had left on his phone and reassured me that Grandma did know about The Pea going home with them. Everyone was safe and fine (except me, of course). Lesson learned: If you're going to be dropping your kids off at this class and that playdate, if you want to play it safe, give them a phone so you can reach them. I activated the Kajeet phone the next day.
The problem, of course, is that cellphones themselves can pose a danger to a young child -- think bullying text messages, marketing calls for all kinds of inappropriate material, predators calling. Think of running up sky-high bills. That's where Kajeet comes in. They have really thought it through and come up with a cellphone service that reassures parents and protects kids while still giving kids just the right amount of independence and cool features.
We've had The Pea's Kajeet phone activated for over a month now, and the peace of mind that it gives me is worth the paltry monthly cost to keep the phone up and running. Here's what I love about Kajeet:
* Parents control how their child uses the phone: who they can call or text, who calls or texts them, when they can call, how much money to put on the phone, what features they can access. It's all done via an easy online interface.
* For the true worrywart parents such as myself, they even have a GPS Locator service, so you can go online and see where your kid's phone is on a map.
* The plans are affordable and flexible. You can choose from several monthly plans or pay as you go for 10 cents per minute of airtime and a 32-cent daily access charge. We chose the $4.99 per month plan because we're not expecting The Pea to be having any marathon phone sessions with her BFF's just yet. But we can switch plans any time we want -- there are no contracts, activation fees or termination fees!
* Even with all that, it's a cellphone, not a shackle. The service is packed with features that kids love: ringtones, games, picture messaging, texting, and all kinds of stuff I'm not cool enough to know about. The phones are high quality, high tech products from LG, Sanyo and Samsung, not junky, soo last-century models. Our Kajeet phone even came with cute little stickers to decorate it!
Would you like to win a Kajeet phone for your own child? We're giving one away to a lucky Bonggamom Finds reader! To enter, visit Kajeet.com to learn about all the cool features for kids and sensible features for parents. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling me which feature you like best. (this entry must be completed for any extra entries to count).
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following:
1) Follow Finding Bonggamom on Blogger (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
2) Follow kajeet on Twitter (leave a comment with your twitter id)
3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway (leave a commment with a link to your tweet). Here's a tweet you can copy and paste:
Kajeet Phone giveaway from @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/o2qqmw
Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry (don't list down all your extra entries in 1 comment!) . This giveaway ends at midnight PST on June 6, 2009.; I will draw a winner at random on June 7 and post their names on the same day. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!