I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Zact. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Given that phones are practically extensions of parents' arms these days, it's no wonder that kids are asking for their own cell phone at a younger and younger age. My boys have their own phones, but they don't have phone plans, so the phones merely function as wifi devices. But their 12 year old sister already has her own cell phone (I think most middle schoolers these days do!), and lately they've been wanting access to the internet on the go -- and I don't think I'm going to be able to put it off for much longer.
But just because they're old enough to want a cell phone doesn't mean they're old enough to use a phone responsibly. Besides the obvious risks of losing or damaging their phones, there's also overuse (sneaking a peek at their phones at school or during soccer practice), excessive texting, running up huge bills, identity theft, online bullying, texting while driving or biking, and so many other issues. There are so many things that could go wrong, it's scary!
For me, just talking about these issues is not enough: I want a phone plan for my kids that lets me set controls and limits based on my kids age the level of responsibility they're ready for. So when I finally do get my boys started on a cell phone plan, it's going to be one with robust parental controls like those of Zact Mobile. They were recently awarded the National Parenting Center seal of approval, and recently praised on USA Today as providing "... the most robust controls". Zact gives parents the ability to customize their child's phone plan and set up parental controls, like the ability to set restrictions on who children can contact or be contacted by, the amount of time spent texting, plus time spent browsing the internet. The plan also allows parents to set curfews and limitations on when the smartphone can and cannot be used, such as at homework, meal or bed times. What's more, Zact's no-contract plan features a money back credit that applies automatically to the next month’s service if overestimated.
Parental Controls with Zact from Zact Mobile on Vimeo.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Zact. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.