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Entries in mobile phone (3)


Who is Really in Charge of Your Child's iPod, Mobile Phone, TV Viewing or Internet Activity?

The Best and the Worst Gift Ever

Last December, with much trepidation on my part, we gave our 8.5 year old twins each an iPod Touch for Christmas.

Not only was I hesitant to spend that much on eight year olds, but I had to think long and hard about giving them a portable device that gave them access to the Internet.

We live in a very different time.
When I was eight the coolest thing I had was call waiting and the ability to conference in a friend…who would then conference in a friend…who would then conference in another friend.

But having 20 kids on a conference call is very different than 20 kids who can take pictures, or trade emails or texts and shoot them to 100 people each within a matter of minutes.

If you make a wrong statement to your friends online, it's out there permanently. A text that says "I don't like that person" still lives a year later. It can still do damage a year later.

All this is reeling around in my mind when my mom says she'll go halvsies on the iPods so then we only have to get one, and my husband is nodding and saying, "take it and call it a day", and before I know it I've agreed to getting them each a $200 device that can basically ruin their life before they've even it puberty!

Here's my own neurotic version of parental controls:
It's my iTunes account on their iPods so I have to approve every app download
YouTube is deleted (have you SEEN the "popular" stuff that pops up when you launch YouTube???)
The do not have an email of their own yet (so they can't Text or use FaceTime either as far as I know)

Learn More about Parent Controls from Cox Cable and John Walk on June 28th

As a Lifetime Moms Affiliate I'm excited to tell you about a Tweet Up on June 28th where a local DC blog friend of mine, Leticia from @TechSavvyMama and the amazing child advocate, John Walsh, will be talking about parental controls and monitoring tools for TV viewing, Internet and mobile phone use as an important component in keeping kids safe.

Join me, @Cox_Comm (Cox Communications), @Techsavvymama and other concerned parents and child advocates on Twitter:

Date: June 28th

Time: 6 - 7 PM

Hashtag:  #CoxTakeCharge

As I was browsing the Cox Take Charge website I found this great list of 10 Tips for Parents About Internet Safety.

The Number One item?

1. Talk with your kids about Internet Safety.
Talk to your kids regularly about what they do online and what they shouldn't do. Research shows that kids whose parents talk to them about Internet safety are less likely to engage in risky behavior while online.

I have started to talk to them regularly mostly because they keep asking when they will get an email and get to text and FaceTime their friends. They might not be happy with the discussion, but I know that my reasons are slowly seeping into their heads. When it IS time for them to start using more functions on their iPods, I hope they will do so responsibly.

What are you doing to ensure your child's safety online?

I'd love to know the steps you have taken.


Disclosure: as a Lifetime Mom affiliate I have been compensated for this post and for helping to spread the word about this Tweet up and the Cox Take Charge cause. All that said, ALL opinions expressed here are my own and are based on true experiences I have documented. This is a cause that is close to my heart. I'm excited to learn more on the 28th!


Guest Post! JP Laqueur on The Verizon Hub for Families

Verizon Hub Widget Phone

Photo Credit: Techfever on Flickr

I was invited to get a first-look at the Verizon Hub home phone in New York last week but couldn't get up there in time. Thankfully fellow marketer, blogger, and all-around good guy JP Laqueur (full-disclosure, he's my brother!) was able to take my spot and here is what he experienced.

So today I had the privilege of seeing the new Verizon Hub firsthand. Verizon Wireless has done a great job with the first generation of this product. The Hub is aptly named as well.

Verizon Hub connects family members

Verizon envisioned this device from the start as something that would tie an entire family together in the one time and place they are likely to meet each day: the kitchen at breakfast. And they built its features and capabilities around that typical family experience.

Mom or Dad can quickly check weather, messages or news while they make coffee. They can we real time traffic updates before staring the commute. The kids can even watch short-form videos of their favorite shows while they eat breakfast.

But the Hub goes beyond breakfast too. It's calender feature allows all family members to keep track of events and it will soon integrate with Outlook and other calender systems. At dinner Mom or Dad can also call up recipes to help whip up a quick dinner.

And the Hub has a messaging interface that integrates neatly with your Verizon Wireless phones. The kids can instant message the Hub remotely to let Mom or Dad know about soccer practice change. And anyone can leave a message on the Hub like "went to Kmart. Back in 30" in lieu of paper notes.

Cost of the Verizon Hub

The Hub costs $200 then $35 a month and it must be accompanied by a new or existing Verizon Wireless account. It can support up to 3 handsets in the house and uses a VoIP connection and the home wireless network rather than a land line - making it convenient, fast and easy.
It's also very upgradable. Verizon pushes updates to the device (new videos and recipes) all the time.

The next generation of the device will be even smaller and more integrated into the 7-inch screen. All in all it's a great initial product an likely to get even better. For busy Verizon Wireless families it's definitely worth a try.

JP Laqueur is president of Idea-Ware Inc. and blogs his random thoughts on marketing advocacy, technology and life at The Madvocate Blog.


Kajeet Giveaway! The kids cell phone that parents love. {Contest CLOSED}

***UPDATE 3/4/09****
This contest is now closed. The winners are:

The three participating blogs eached picked a winner using Then I took those three names and used the List Randomizer from Random. org to come up with the grand prize winner and runners up.

The Grand Prize winner of the Samsung M300 Kajeet Phone goes to....

@auntiethesis from

The runners up and winners of the Kajeet prize packs are....

@minnemom from
Maybe Mama from


Thanks for participating and don't forget, if you didn't win you can still get 15% off the cost of a Kajeet phone by using
promo code: JANINE when you visit!
____________________original post_____________________

Lord knows when the Twofer hit their tween years they will want a cell phone, and frankly, I'm not completely opposed to it. The world can be big and scary and a little crazy, and as a responsible parent with a tendency to be a little neurotic, I'm thinking a cell phone offers some security.

Which is why I'm so happy to have already found Kajeet!

When I first read about Kajeet and explored the website I was really impressed with the level of parental control, and the flexibility of the program. Here's what I liked:


With Kajeet no contract is needed and you can pay-as-you go for $.10 a minute.
But for less than $5 a month you can have 10 minutes of call/text time and if you go over, it's just $.10 a minute as opposed to $.32 a minute most "family plans" charge for overages. See the comparison:

Compare Kajeet's Basic Plan ($4.99/month) to most Family Plans

Parental Controls

Parental controls mean that you can work wi
th your tween/teen to manage when the phone is used (Time Manager), decide what numbers and texts to allow (Contact Manager), and even decide who pays for which phone calls. So calls to Grandma can come out of the parent wallet encouraging more calls to Grandma!
The GPS Phone Locator allows you to find the phone at any time. And all of these controls are easy to manage online.


You can enter to win a Samsung M300 Kajeet phone that will come with a $5.00 credit!

This phone does everything kids want it to do (text, photos, games, etc.) and the Kajeet service has everything you as a parent will love.

What's more, I have 2 Kajeet Gift Sets that will go to two runners up!

Here's how to enter:
Choose 1 of these or do all 4 for 4 chances to win!
1. Leave a comment with your favorite Kajeet feature.
2. Subscribe to this blog (click on the RSS button for posts just above the Kajeet image in the right column)
3. Email this contest to 5 of your friends and cc me: scarytwins at yahoo dot com
4. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter (and leave comment here with link)

**Special Note***
For another view of Kajeet visit my new blog friend Toni's blog, The Happy Housewife, on Thursday (2/26) where you can double your chances of winning and then stop by MommaDJane's Blog on Saturday (2/28) where you can enter AGAIN!

Contest ends Tuesday, March 3rd at 11:59pm. Winners will be chosen by and announced Wednesday, March 4th.

If you don't win the free phone, you can still get 15% off the cost of a Kajeet phone by using this special code at checkout: JN0005

Good luck, and happy phone shopping!