To Verizon Wireless
Suggested addition for your parental controls
An app that would allow a parent to add phone numbers to your child’s phone as they earn then through good behavior and good grades.
Also allow you to send them ringtones, music or apps that they earn from your computer to their cell phone as they earn them without
having to unblock internet or app block from their phone to add them.
The problem, young teens are exposed to bad influences; sure you can add certain numbers to the blocked contact list or add certain numbers
to the trusted contact list. Unfortunately, it is easier to add numbers such as friends then it is to block the ones you donot want your child talking to.
We need something in between, Reserving the trusted number list for family contacts that you want your child to have 24/7 access to and
adding a new feature that allows you to add numbers as the child or young teens earns them through good behavior or good grades and still be able to use the call time restrictions. Even reward them with ring tones music or apps.
I have had a problem with my young teen sending out inappropriate photos, she would text during school and arrange for bad
influence friends to come over while I was working. Her grades were failing and young teens do not understand the consequences of sending out inappropriate photos. So I put a complete block on her phone. No sending or receiving photos, only allowed to contact people on trusted contact list. As her grades and behavior improved, I would add a friend to the trusted contact list, problem with this is they can text her during school or late at night because the trusted list allows 24/7 communication.
By creating a level between the trusted list and the block list, a parent would know who their kid was talking with , someone you “allowed”
to contact them and feel more confident that photos are not going out to people parents don’t approve of.
I work on an ambulance, I treat lots of teens and parents I get lots of EMS calls where the issue of their emergency is tied back to cell
phones and ipads because kids got into something or sent something they can’t take back and simply are not equipped to handle the repercussions of sending something out that they can’t take back or it gets spread around their social groups.
Creating this level for contacts would help parents keep their kids safe and allow the parents to reward good behavior. Sure lots of parents including myself have had to take the cell away as punishment. My personal experience it that they respond better to things they could earn, rewarding the positive behavior and not just punishing the bad / negative behavior. I told my daughter that she could earn friends on her phone that I had to block from everyone except trusted numbers and for the first time, she took control and buckled down because in the end she knew she would get friends on her phone and knew that it was something she could control, do good earn contacts. I also wanted to reward her with some ringtones thought I could send them to her by logging onto myverizon.com and could let her pick 3 for each A on her report card, 2 for each B and 1 for each C but it would not let me do that because on the internet and service blocks I added to her phone. I thought I could do it online like I added her friends on line.
I called Verizon and talked to a very nice gentleman there about how I could add ringtones to her phone and he said the only way was to
unblock the phone. Well, my daughter is not equipped with the maturity yet to understand consequences yet as she has
proven over and over unfortunately. My eldest daughter, I never had this problem with. I told the gentleman of what I as a parent would find useful as a parental control my reward as you go program as I call it to my daughter and told him to turn it into the suggestion box..lol
Please considercreating this level :
Trusted Contacts > Approved Contacts <Blocked Contacts
24/7 access Access with set time restrictions No Contact
*With ability to reward with ringtones, songs and apps from your myverizon account without
removing internet / service blocks from your child / young teens phone.
Think of how many young people’s lives you would be saving do to their inability to handle the consequences of their actions from sexting
/ photo sharing or access to bad influences via their cell phones and ipads as I see it with suicide attempts and behavioral emergencies in my job. Not to mention all the parents on Prozac and valium and anti-depressants because they can’t handle the stress of the phases their kids go through with the new internet / cell phone techno world we live in today. Raising kids in this
technological world is not as easy as it used to be. Then as your child develops critical thinking skills and has an appreciation of consequences and proves he / she is responsible you can remove this parental control from their phone also giving them a positive target to shoot for. We
do not give young people a drivers license until they have taken drivers training and learned the responsibilities that go with being behind the wheel
and then they get a couple years of guidance from their parents before they are out on their own. Being a new driver without training can be dangerous to them and others. I look at a cell phone and internet access the same way; they need to ease into it slowly allowing them to be trained on
proper use by their parents so they don’t end up in some of the situations I see in the line of duty. Slowing down the progression of sexting, inappropriate photo sharing, child abduction from being picked by a stranger they met in an online in social site, drugs, alcohol. This is all assisted and arranged by a cell phone / internet in the hands of an untrained child who progresses through their awkward teen years who was initially given unrestricted / unsupervised access to these devices. Please give the parents the tool that gives them the opportunity to educate and reward and keep their kids safe.
That's a great idea, @mcdili. I'd like to add that I want to know what pics are being sent/received. If a child of mine is sending inappropriate pics/vids, I want to know.
I understand that 3rd party apps (Snapchat, etc) would be more difficult to monitor and would require cooperation from said 3rd party (I'm not so sure 'Snapchat' creators are interested in parental involvement...), but YOU ARE VERIZON... all the data flows through you in some form or another.
Allow parents to know what's happening with their children.