The Smart Phone Gift Giving Guide for Your Kids

android and iphones for kids

The holidays are coming.  For many families, that means new cellphones and smart phones for the kids. When choosing the best cell phones for kids, there are several qualifiers that parents can look to before making a final decision. Price and functionality tend to be the most important considerations. Finding a balance of the first two options and a phone that meets the requirements the parents and child have in mind is usually going to result in the best cell phones for kids.

Affordability is a pretty important factor in choosing the phone for a child. Finding a phone that won’t break the family’s gift budget is important. Finding a budgeted phone that works effectively and has all the features the parents feel the child needs is also important. Typically one or two year old models fall neatly into a low or median price range while still offering full functionality, making them solid choices. Phones from providers who offer a family plan for calls and information are good choices for affordability as well.

Functionality is an issue with many modern phones. Call reliability is extremely important to parents who expect to use the phone to talk to the child regularly. A phone that is going to be used as information or learning tool will need a strong network card to ensure uninterrupted data.  Strong text functionality is typically important to modern kids and parents who use texts to communicate. Reasonably modern phones offer all of this functionality while avoiding the cost of brand new models. This makes slightly older but still modern phones some of the best cell phones for kids.

Many parents find that ensuring the child has a phone with a strong GPS system is the most important factor in functionality in a new phone. This typically means a more modern phone with a functional GPS tracker is ideal. Apps like MamaBear use this modern GPS functionality to track and monitor children, not just lost and stolen phones. Modern GPS is available in many phones, both brand new from lines within a few years old. The Samsung Galaxy SII and the IPhone 4s for example are not new to market but offer full modern GPS functionality.

Another important part of functionality for a child’s phone is parental control. Restricting the ability of the child to surf the web or watch videos is important to many parents. Preventing the child from deleting or modifying controls or parenting related apps is important. In this regard newer models of iPhone do tend of offer better functionality.

The best cellphones for kids fall squarely into a few areas. Affordability, both in terms of purchase and monthly costs, is an important consideration for parents. The phone doing what it is intended for is important for both parents and children. Functionality in certain areas, like GPS and parental restriction, is typically very important to parents. Recently produced, but not brand new, models tend to meet all of these criteria effectively. When loaded with a child monitoring app like MamaBear, they can also help a parent quietly observe more and worry less.

Social Media Monitoring Tool – Perfect for Friday Night After-Game Parties

high school sports after parties

High school sports are a blast to watch. Especially when your kid’s team gets the win! I love seeing them light up with pride. Of course they want to celebrate with their teammates and friends so Friday night after-game parties are common. But do you ever wonder who they’ll be with and worry about celebratory activities? With their smart phones attached at the hip, chances are good they will post photos on their social media pages and get tagged in photos and in messages with other people. Keeping an eye on their social media profiles can give you a peak inside the party and some insight on who they’re hanging around. The MamaBear App has a social media monitoring tool to lend a helping hand so you don’t have to spend your time snooping around on their profiles.

Trusting your teen to make good choices and behave appropriately is important and giving them the independence to have their own life experiences is necessary. But parenting in today’s world is different. If we aren’t there to teach our children how to manage their reputation online like we do offline, they’ll learn it from others in their social media spaces. Don’t let one Friday night after-game celebration cause a negative digital footprint for your child. Have the right information in hand to help lead a great conversation about social media etiquette and safety. MamaBear can help with our social media monitoring tool to alert parents to keywords, phrases, photos, friends and tags being used. It can save you some time and keep the necessary information in the palm of your hand direct to your phone without always logging in to your child’s social media pages.

So cheer on your team and good luck at the game. And should your kid want to go to the after party, let them! Give them some independence and freedom and get some peace of mind at the same time. Take a look at the MamaBear App to monitor their social media activity, location and driving speed.

Track Your Kids while they Trick-or-Treat

kids halloween safety

Halloween brings back wonderful memories. Dressing up, grabbing that big plastic pumpkin or pillow case and running out to fill it with goodies was a ton of fun. It was great going to Halloween parties with friends, walking through haunted houses and feeling the rush of being scared or trying to trick your friends with different pranks. We all want our children to have the same memories when they grow up, but today’s parent seems to have more to worry about – different threats to tamper with making memories.  At what age is trick-or-treating appropriate without us at their side? Should we let them go to the neighborhood over with their friends? Who are they sharing their Halloween pictures with on social media? Who’s going to be at the Halloween party?  Thinking about these questions can make any parent nervous. Answering them in a way that makes you rest easier is possible.

There will come an age when your child won’t want you to come with them when they go trick-or-treating. We all want to encourage independence and let them enjoy such a fun day with their friends. You can ease some anxiety using GPS tracking from your kid’s phone or a separate device.  Deciding to let them go without you can also depend on their level of maturity, proving to you that they are responsible enough to make good decisions. Or, you may base the level of freedom on the friends the child will be around. As a group, can they be accountable?

As a parent, you may want to track your kids, no matter where their level of maturity is. GPS tracking will let you know right where they are and if they’ve crossed any landmark boundaries. There are apps and devices that can send you notifications about their location to tame some anxiety while you’re handing out candy at home.  And now with so many of our children using their phones to share pictures, get ready to see more photos of costumes than ever before on their Facebook and Instagram profiles. We definitely won’t be able to keep up with our kids’ photo sharing pace, yet it’s highly recommended you know what pictures they are posting or are tagged in. If you need a helper, there’s an app for that.

Whether you decide to give your child the freedom to trick-or-treat without you with the reassurance of a tracking device, or a social media monitoring tool we wish you a happy and safe Halloween! Have fun and let the MamaBear app make it a less anxious celebration.

Driving Monitor App – How Fast is Your Teenager Driving?

driving monitor app

It’s so important for our newest drivers, in most cases teenagers, to be safe when out on the road. Speeding is a common violation for many new drivers, yet can have terrible consequences. MamaBear App’s driving monitor feature can tell you how fast your teen is driving. Knowing how fast your teen is going can start a needed conversation on ways to be safe drivers and the consequences of speeding.

According to a survey from Allstate.com, 69% of teens who speed say they do so because they want to keep up with traffic. Also, it states that 55% of teens knowingly exceed the speed limit by at least 10 miles per hour and 17% of teens surveyed said that speeding is fun. There really shouldn’t be any reasoning behind speeding. It’s a law in place with safety in mind. It’s a must follow. MamaBear’s driving monitor app can help parent’s track their teen’s speed to see if they’re exceeding the limits and by how much. How do you think your teen drives when you’re not around? Can peer pressure from friends in the car play a role?

Knowing and understand your teen’s speeding habits gives you a chance to share stories with them about the most severe consequences. You’ll find a new one in the news pretty much daily.

During the teenage years, they may feel invincible like nothing can hurt them. So when approached about speeding, your teen may be defensive. But, hold your ground. There’s no debate. We all know how important it is to abide the speed limits.

Speeding teenage drivers are more common than many parents may think. Much of it can be a result of peers and the pressure put on teens. If you choose to use a driving monitor app, like MamaBear’s, you may be surprised by what you find. However, this knowledge can start great conversations. Constantly impressing the importance of safe driving upon your new driver is just one more way you can help protect your children. The full Allstate.com survey can be found here: http://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/safe-driving-resources.aspx

Keep your teens safe while driving, download the MamaBear driving monitor app.