My daughter not quite 8 claimed she wanted a cell phone and she got to try having one, but she only uses it when she spend the night away from us now. While she does enjoy texting with her friends (yes, really) from the family iPad (I see all the chats on my phone I am monitoring the heck out of that!).
But I know part of why she’s reluctant to have a phone is she’s way too busy running around and having fun to bother carrying a phone with her all the time. However, while she’s old enough now that I’m willing to let her go to the playground without me (only to the playground a block away, with an older friend), I still make her take the phone. And yes, she’s left it there several times.
Our experience with child + cell phone is why I got so excited when I heard about the FiLIP. This watch-like bracelet is PERFECT for kids, particularly in a scenario like I described with the local playground. It allows kids to call up to five trusted people (with some limited texting as well), and provides parents with location software that lets you keep tabs on them.
But best of all, it does all this while being wearable as a bracelet. It comes in a variety of colors and in two sizes, so one size for a tiny kid and one for bigger kids like my daughter. It’s a bit on the pricey side $199 but then it’s only $10 a month (powered by AT&T). And it’s waterproof crucial with kids!
Like all the best parenting devices, the idea for the FiLIP was born out of necessity. The founder of the company, Sten Kirkbak, tells the story.
5 years ago, I was at a shopping mall in Norway, with my then 3-year old son, Filip. The mall was crowded and Filip wandered off on his own path for a moment when I wasn’t looking. We were separated for 30 minutes. It doesn’t sound like long, but any parent will know that it felt like a lifetime.
What a great idea. I can definitely see this being a smart investment for my adventurous daughter. Imagine how great it will be at crowded events! I’ve just been writing my cell phone number on my daughter’s arm with a sharpie; this sounds much better. How about you?