Does Your Child REALLY NEED a Smart Phone?

Posted October 26, 2016 by Prairie Wife - 8 comments

This year I became a parent of a Middle Schooler and with this transition came the question….

Does he REALLY need a smart phone?

gizmo gadget watchMy answer was a resounding YES! Cowboy J’s school is in a different town than all the other Cowkids, and I felt extremely nervous about this…I wanted to have the ability to know where he is at all times (OK fine, stalk him) with GPS. I needed to have a way to text him when plans changed and he needed to go home with a friend.

The Cowboy answered with a resounding NO! He didn’t want creepers getting a hold of our kid and severely doubted the effectiveness of parental controls. He felt like Cowboy J would have his face in his phone non stop. Plus, he’s old school (still no Facebook account) and sees all things that are tech as evil.

Just as our discussion started to take a turn down argument road, Verizon Wireless approached the blog and asked me to try out the LG Gizmo Gadget and the GizmoHub app. The LG Gizmo Gadget is a smart watch designed specifically for kids and their parents, and it’s controlled with the GizmoHub App.

Take a second to watch our video review and then page down to the end of this post for my Pro and Con list.

PROS

  • gizmo textEasy to communicate with text or voice
  • No photos or internet connection
  • GizmoHub App works equally well with iPhone or Samsung
  • GizmoHub App is easy to use
  • GPS tracking and automatic notifications when child reaches programmed locations (and leaves them)
  • Only contacts on approved list can call or text
  • Your child can only call or text approved contacts
  • All of the settings can be changed from the GizmoHub App
  • Allows your child freedom in a protected way
  • Durable design
  • Look of screen can be altered based on child’s preferences
  • Cute emoji’s that will warm your heart when you son sends them to you…his emojis are in the red…

CONS

  • Cost: Depending on the watch you choose the price ranges from $80 (GizmoPal) to $150 (GizmoGadget)
  • One time $40 charge to activate then an additional $9.99 per month
  • It can be lost
  • Like all tech devices it can be a distraction for some kids
  • There is a set amount of contacts, there may not be room for all of their friends to be added

What do you think? Does your child really need a smart phone?

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8 thoughts on "Does Your Child REALLY NEED a Smart Phone?"

  1. College bff says:

    Looks like a good alternative to having a smart phone!

  2. Abbey says:

    We did the gizmo until we realized the kids couldn’t call 911. With us living out of town that was important to us. And the kids could only text us a list of messages so if they needed to send a quick message saying something like… need lunch money. They couldn’t do it

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t pay attention to that because we have a home phone! We’ve found the voice texts work well for the things they need to tell us that aren’t already programmed in.

  3. Bennie says:

    No kids here but in this day and age I think kids need a phone. Maybe not the most recent version with all the bells and whistles but one so they can keep in touch with you.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I can tell you it really is a great piece of mind being able to know where they are and what they are up to!

  4. Eppie Schoch says:

    This has been IMMENSELY helpful to me shopping for something for my sons! They are 9 and 11 and the phone debate is in full swing over here. I just am no ok with it for now. I see that your gizmo would be about 6 mos old now. Are you still thrilled with it? Any new pros or cons to speak of? Also, how is the “cool factor” with your son’s friends? Does this give him something to be proud of? Does it hold up to the bumps, bruises, & crazy chaos of being a tween?

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      We still love it! It’s held up to everything that my 10 year old (and the other kids) does to it. The kids at school think it’s cool and it hasn’t ever distracted him from school work. I set it on silent mode for school hours. We even used it on our 3 year old when we traveled to FL to have a way to keep track of him at the airport and Disney world in case he wandered off. Thankfully he didn’t but, it was so nice to have it! Buy it, you won’t regret it.

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