It’s been almost a year since we gave our oldest daughter an old iPhone {wi-fi only} at the age of nine. Two kids having their own devices has brought on an entirely new realm of parental complexity.

To ensure we were establishing a safe cell phone environment, we had honest conversations about cell phone and device etiquette and both signed a cell phone contract outlining basic rules of usage. Nothing over the top, just age appropriate guidelines.

We continually have open communication, however my biggest challenge is controlling mobile usage habits and ensuring they are safe at all times.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

Although some devices have parental controls, I soon realized this did not solve my problem when it came to monitoring activity.  It’s definitely a step in the right direction and a must-do for every child’s device, however I wanted a more extensive process for setting restrictions on social media apps, tracking text usage and controlling the time of day they could be active.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

As a Verizon customer I had been considering the FamilyBase planan add-on service {$4.99 per month} that allows parents to monitor wireless activities using an app on their mobile device and the Verizon desktop dashboard.

When Verizon asked me to review the service, the timing couldn’t have been better. We  recently added cell phone and data service to the old iPhone because my daughter was walking to school, occasionally riding her bike a few blocks away, spending several hours at cheer practice and we do not have a home phone.

In her case, gaining additional cell phone privileges became a necessity. She was also asking for more games and apps.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

With newfound access to the online world, I was becoming increasingly worried about device usage interfering with our family time. Thankfully even though she has a smartphone, it doesn’t seem to be high on her priority list. I’m constantly reminding her to take her phone before leaving the house.

On most days she only uses it to call me for important questions like – Can I have a play date after school, What’s for dinner or will you pick me up so I don’t have to walk?

Her texting skills are still a work in progress {sorry Mom and Dad!}. But I do like to see the activity no matter how low it may be at the moment. Plus, as she gets older and interest peaks, she’ll be accustomed to us monitoring online activity.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

Since activating FamilyBase by Verizon, I can see a log of text messages and phone calls, limit data, establish trusted numbers and even block unwanted calls and texts – all from  my iPhone.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

One of my favorite features is the Time Restrictions. I was able to establish time and data controls that take effect whether she’s using Wi-Fi or data service. Her device is scheduled to stop texts, calls and cellular data between during school hours {8 am – 3 pm} and sleep hours {9pm -6 am}.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

I was surprised how many elementary kids are texting entirely too late at night and way too early in the morning! FamilyBase let me have full control.

From my Verizon account, I can also set usage limits for each device (to avoid unexpected overage charges) and manage multiple family members from the dashboard.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

Finding a balance between device time and family time is much more challenging for my eight-year-old. Once she transitions to a cell phone we can add her to FamilyBase.

No matter what age a child begins using a cell phone or mobile device, parental monitoring is imperative. There is never any guarantee of online privacy. In addition to using an app like FamilyBase, I manually check all devices on a regular basis.

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

Several times a week I check text messages and apps (primarily Music.ly) when my daughters are with me and other times I do it on my own. It’s important to keep track of the text conversations and exactly what they are doing with their devices.

Safer Cell Phone Control: FamilyBase can do the following:

  • SET SMARTER BOUNDARIES: Take back family time by limiting access to calls, texts and data
  • CHILDPROOF YOUR INTERNET: Block access to inappropriate apps and websites
  • MONITOR USAGE & ACTIVITY: Block unwanted contacts and view your child’s text and call history
  • IN-HOME & ON-THE-GO: Control your child’s online experience whether they’re using wi-fi or data

Need safer cell phone control and cell usage? Cell phone contracts aren't enough. We’re using Verizon FamilyBase to set smart boundaries for screen time.

To add FamilyBase to your current plan, go hereIn less than a few minutes the plan can be added to a monthly account for $4.99 per line (first month is free!). Activation is as simple as installing the app (iPhone or Android) and pairing additional devices on a Verizon account.

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So Chic Life

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Verizon. All opinions are honest and 100% our own. We only partner with brands that we know our savvy readers will be interested.

30 Comments on Safer Cell Phone Control: FamilyBase by Verizon

  1. Kristina
    October 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I have Sprint but have been hearing good things about Verizon. My kids won’t have cell phones until they are older. They are getting too expensive.

  2. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    October 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm (2 weeks ago)

    When my oldest daughter got her cell phone when she was 13. I wished at that time there would have been something like this. She’s 18 now so I don’t need it. My youngest is 12 now, but thankfully she’s not interested.

  3. Jessica Joachim
    October 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm (2 weeks ago)

    This is great! I am a Verizon customer and had no idea about this! My kids are still super young, but I would so get something like this when they get old enough to have their own phones.

  4. Ilka
    October 6, 2017 at 7:36 pm (2 weeks ago)

    That’s such a helpful post for parents. Cell phone use for our kids is always a debated topic, and it’s important to set limits.

  5. Roxanne
    October 6, 2017 at 9:12 pm (2 weeks ago)

    My kids aren’t old enough for cell phones yet, but I’m sure it will be here before I know it. Thanks for sharing ways I can monitor them as their parent!

  6. Journa Ramirez
    October 7, 2017 at 3:04 am (2 weeks ago)

    Wow! This control will surely protect our kids. Technology opens a lot of different doors and we can’t avoid it. Good thing, there’s something that can help us put our kids to safer zone.

  7. AnnMarie John
    October 7, 2017 at 5:24 am (2 weeks ago)

    It’s pretty awesome that Verizon has these controls for parents. I’ve been thinking about what best to give my youngest when the time is right, I think I just found the perfect phone for her.

  8. Angela Tolsma
    October 7, 2017 at 7:32 am (2 weeks ago)

    WOW I never would have thought about any of this for kids. That’s awesome that verizon has great options for you to see it.

  9. Erica
    October 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I feel like technology addiction is a real danger. So it’s really important to have tools like this to monitor kids time spent on their phones. We don’t always have to be connected. So boundaries are good. Lol, I wish I could have something like that that I could use with my husband!

  10. Arlene
    October 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm (1 week ago)

    I have sprint too. I didn’t allow my son a phone till high school. Trust me he was late to the game. I monitor him with our apple account but if I had Verizon I would get this feature!

  11. Carolyn
    October 8, 2017 at 7:58 am (1 week ago)

    I will definitely be looking into this product in the next year or so. My boys will be getting cell phones when they get to middle school and I want to monitor them closely.

  12. TColeman
    October 8, 2017 at 1:17 pm (1 week ago)

    This looks like it would be great for our family as our kids reach that age. I need something that I can monitor but also let them have some independence with.

  13. Jeanine
    October 8, 2017 at 1:51 pm (1 week ago)

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Verizon! I wish I had it where I am living I would for sure switch!

  14. HilLesha
    October 8, 2017 at 7:53 pm (1 week ago)

    I’ve been toying with the idea of getting my oldest child a phone. Therefore, I’ll have to keep this in mind!

  15. Blythe Alpern
    October 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm (1 week ago)

    I’ve been a Verizon customer for years but didn’t know about this offer. I don’t have kids but I do have nieces and a nephew who already use tech and wifi so this would be a great service for them.

  16. Shannon Gurnee
    October 9, 2017 at 11:38 pm (1 week ago)

    I love that Verizon has this parental control center for parents. Looks like they are definitely doing some great things!

  17. Ashley
    October 10, 2017 at 11:58 am (1 week ago)

    I’m all for any thing that will help keep the kids safe online. This is a great thing Verizon is doing, I need to look into it for our phones.

  18. Laurie Floyd
    October 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm (1 week ago)

    I definitely believe that this is a great idea and should be on every parent’s priority list! Thankfully, I do not have to worry about any of this anymore. Verizon is doing a great job by offering this service!

  19. Heather
    October 10, 2017 at 6:48 pm (1 week ago)

    We have Verizon too and love it! My eight year old daughter has a cell phone and I highly depend on Familybase to help me monitor her use.

  20. Dawn Nieves
    October 10, 2017 at 6:52 pm (1 week ago)

    I had no idea they offered this. I’m a Verizon customer and I love this feature. I definitely need to look into this more.

  21. Brandi Crawford
    October 10, 2017 at 7:48 pm (1 week ago)

    I didn’t know about the ability to set usage limits. That’s so awesome. Great feature.

  22. Jamie
    October 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm (1 week ago)

    Sounds like some great things to think about for cell phone usage with kids. I love that you can set time restrictions!

  23. Kristin
    October 10, 2017 at 7:57 pm (1 week ago)

    This sounds like such a great way to monitor activity. My 10 year old is in tons of group chats and it seems like they go off all hours of the day and night!

  24. Sissy Johnson
    October 10, 2017 at 8:07 pm (1 week ago)

    I love Verizon. They’re my current provider and even though I’m prepaid I still am treated as a contract customer. I will definitely be using them once I decide to add lines for my boys. Great post.

  25. Rebecca Bryant
    October 10, 2017 at 8:15 pm (1 week ago)

    WOW, I never would have thought about any of this for kids. I wish I had it know about it when sn was younger.

  26. Alecia
    October 10, 2017 at 9:32 pm (1 week ago)

    I love that you can set hours, I know I would have stayed up texting all night when I was younger of I had been given the chance. I’m sure I’ll use something like this when my little ones are older

  27. Melanie
    October 11, 2017 at 12:25 am (1 week ago)

    My daughter had a sleepover for her 10th birthday this weekend. I was shocked there were so many girls with cellphones. I thought I had way more time before I had to worry about phone safety, but I guess not! Good to know where to turn to keep my kids safe.

  28. Milena
    October 11, 2017 at 5:50 am (1 week ago)

    This sounds like a great app for those that need it. I know some kids have no boundaries when it comes to using their phone- this helps!

  29. Dena
    October 11, 2017 at 6:43 am (1 week ago)

    I love all of these features! It seems that kids are getting phones earlier and earlier so if I’m going to be giving my kid a cell phone, I want to know what they are doing.

  30. Nicole Aguilar
    October 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm (7 days ago)

    This is great. I see kids getting cell phones younger and younger these days and there should be controls in place to protect them from themselves.

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