Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Never Say Never - Part I Don't Even Know Anymore :)

If you've read here for a while you know that it seems like any time I use the phrase "never" I end up eating those words pretty darn quick.  I should have known better when I said I would NEVER get my middle schooler a phone that that was pretty much a guarantee that he'd end up with one in his hand before his first quarter was over :) 



In all seriousness though - if there was a "no cellphone for kids club" I could be the president.  Working with 12-15 year olds for the past 15 years and seeing the changes that have come along with more prolific cell phone use had me adamant that my kids would NOT have a smart phone. 

Sixth grade has been going WONDERFULLY but there had definitely been situations that came up where we wished we had a way to get in touch with him.  Whether it was telling him to meet us in a different spot after robotics, or letting him know that we were running late from the game and wouldn't be there when he got dropped off after youth group or just feeling more comfortable with letting him go off with his friends on various occasions.  There were also times like when he was hanging out at a friends house or on the course with his golf instructor where we wished that he had a way to get in touch with us in case he felt uncomfortable with what was going on.  

We knew that we didn't want him to have a smartphone because we don't feel like social media is something that he needs and as far as games and other apps we didn't really feel the need for him to have those things in his pocket at school.  I know that you can dramatically limit access and apps on an iPhone (that's what we do with all three kids iPads) but it seemed excessive to buy such an expensive device for essentially call/text only.  We looked into flip phones and were surprised at either how pricey they were or how "old school" they were when it came to ease of texting.  

Enter the Gabb phone...


 It's everything we wanted him to have without any of the things we didn't feel he needed.  
It's EXACTLY what we had been looking for.

It looks just like an iPhone - the back has the cameras as well as the fingerprint ID sensor...


... and here are the "apps" that it does have.

Calculator, calendar, camera, clock, contacts, FM radio, texting, music, voice recorder, etc.


He LOVES the calendar and I love that he's been keeping track of school assignments and other things we have going on on it. 


He can customize the home screen with different "widgets" like clock faces and buttons that he can tap that take him directly to certain text threads... it's just super kid friendly. 


The best part?  It's $99 and the service is $20 or $25 per month depending on whether you want group/photo texting (and it's monthly... you don't have to sign up for a plan).

If you're interested you can click  HERE and use the code ANDREA10 to get $10 off of the cost of the phone.

I SO HOPE that sharing this is encouraging to you if you're in the same boat we were in wanting a way to communicate with your kids (and let your kids communicate with their friends) without opening up Pandora's Box when it comes to apps and the internet and all of that.

So what questions do you have???  Leave them in the comments!

Thank you to Gabb for partnering with me on this post! I feel passionately about safe cell phone use for kids and only partner with brands and businesses who we use and love - grateful for Gabb and their commitment to making an age-appropriate cell phone that's helping to keep kids safe! 

27 comments :

  1. Could you please disclose whether this is a sponsored post/ad?

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    1. My disclosure is in the post above but yes, I partnered with Gabb on this post. I feel passionately about safe cell phone use for kids and only partner with brands and businesses who we use and love - grateful for Gabb and their commitment to making an age-appropriate cell phone that's helping to keep kids safe!

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    2. Thank you! I always appreciate your transparency and really trust you on brands.

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  2. We had/have a similar phone for our kids for the same reasons. Our oldest got a "real" phone at 17. An idea you can take or toss- we periodically check texts, devices, etc. Although it's been a 1, maybe 2x thing, we've needed to address a communication. It's easy to fire off a message & in the hands of an inexperienced young teen... 😬 It was a teaching moment.

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    1. That's great advice and I"ll take all the tips I can get! hahaha

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  3. This seems like the perfect answer for so many families!!!

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  4. I follow Gabb and Collin Kartchner on IG and when our middle schooler gets a phone, it will be this one! Glad you found it!

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  5. I follow Gabb and Collin Kartchner on IG and when our middle schooler gets a phone, it will be this one! Glad you found it!

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  6. Looks like a great option for a first phone. 6th grade is a good age to start learning how to responsibly use a phone - and an age when they're off on their own with friends more than ever and you'll feel better knowing you can reach him (and he can reach you) whenever needed!

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  7. I wish we would have gotten these for our kids! Phones are out of control!

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    1. They really are! Trying to keep it in check over here :)

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  8. Can you add games/apps to it at all?

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  9. Did you look at the Pinwheel at all? We're looking at both the Gabb and the Pinwheel for my almost 12 year-old daughter, but we're leaning more towards the Pinwheel. I would love to know if you considered the Pinwheel as well and if so, what made you decide on the Gabb.

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    1. We did! The phone and the service was more expensive than Gabb and honestly it was just more than what he needed. I love how they have different apps for different stages but since we were really just looking for call/text with a few extras like photos, group messaging, etc. it wasn't worth it. Also, when we looked at the apps that it came with none of them were ones that we felt he would be using all that often or would need access to on a phone. If that's what you're looking for though it looks great!

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  10. We use TMobile as our cell provider and they offer a call/text plan only for $10/month as an add-on. When our daughter was at an age where she was ok to be left home alone for a few minutes at a time after school we gave her one of our old phones (free), but had it only activated for call/texts - no data. When she got older and we felt comfortable allowing a data plan we installed the app, Qustodio, on her phone. You can monitor what websites they click on, what they're googling, their calls (the numbers they are calling/incoming calls), their texts, social media (if allowed) and their location at any time. You can use this on tablets and computers too. You can easily set controls on content and block phone numbers. Qustodio doesn't monitor texts on IPhones though. She wanted an IPhone so she earned money and paid for an older, cheaper version, but we take her phone from her nightly and review all texts. She knows to expect zero privacy.

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    1. That's great info! Yes - his phone is plugged in downstairs when he's at home and we had that same privacy conversation. Thanks for the advice!!!

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  11. My son just got his first phone too (as a Freshman) because I wanted a way for us to communicate too. He turns it off during the school day and only powers it on at pick up so he knows when I've arrived. So far he hardly uses it for anything and I just LOVE that!

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  12. Thank you for writing this! My son will be at this stage too and I was overwhelmed at finding something appropriate!

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  13. Can you get instagram on this?

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    1. No. It doesn't allow you to download any apps or access the internet.

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  14. We have a 6 year old, and wanted her to be able to check in without asking for a phone. She's pretty high anxiety, and after the mayhem at the end of the school year last year, we wanted to be sure she felt comfortable and not honesick/ lonely at day camp or with her grandma. We bought a Relay device for her, and it's been perfect.

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