© Getty Images'8 things I learned when I gave my child a smartwatch.'
When my eldest son Toby turned 10 in September, I had a few parental concerns that came with allowing him some tween-age freedom.
From solo catch-ups with his mates, to walking the two-minute stretch to school alone, he was ready to do some things without us hanging around.
Toby is a super responsible kid, and while we wanted to give him some autonomy, my natural state as his mother is to be hyper-alert and worried.
It was for this reason that we were keen to try a smart watch. No social media, no internet - just something that helps us keep in touch.
We've been using the new 4G Moochies smartwatch phone for kids, which allows video calling, GPS tracking and other features within the MyMoochies app.
Here's what I've learnt so far about life with a kids' smartwatch:
1. I have one very active kid and I need to move more.
Even when Toby is at home, the GPS tracking shows just how active he is. I can see it on the MyMoochies app almost in real time and it looks like a random scribble as it traces his movements around our home and yard. I feel exhausted just looking at it!
Toby really enjoys seeing how many steps he has done each day on his pedometer too. After comparing his daily total with my paltry efforts, he also likes beating me and sedentary ways.
© Provided by Mamamia
2. I am a natural born worrier.
Toby is at the age where he wants to have a bit of independence. Whether that means hanging out at a friend's place or walking to school; we are keen to support him but that doesn't mean I won't worry.
The Moochies smartwatch phone and app has helped to alleviate my parental fears. If I need to, I can keep in touch with him via text and voice messages or my personal favourite, the two-way video call function. How I love to see his face fill my screen!
It has a parent-controlled contact list so while my husband Jules and Toby's Australian grandmother is on the list, Toby won't get random any calls from strangers. The Moochies smartwatch phone watch is not internet enabled either, so I know he can't use it to stream dodgy YouTube clips instead of playing cricket.
3. Boundaries are good for everyone.
I love the fact that I can call or message Toby, but I definitely don't want to interrupt him with a reminder when he's in the middle of a maths test. This is why we have programmed the Moochies smart watch to go into 'class mode' when he's at school so I literally can't disturb him while he's busy learning and doing things.
4. I run late - a lot.
I am a notoriously bad time keeper and a few times this year I have been stuck in traffic when Toby is due home at 3.20pm. Before we had the Moochies smartwatch phone and app set up, poor Toby had to sit and wait on the front verandah, not knowing when I was coming or if had forgotten him.
In the meantime, I was in my car swearing loudly at the back of a frequently stopping school bus feeling rightfully awful.
Now he can call me to check that I am on my way, or I can message to reassure him that I won't be long.
5. We both love communicating in emojis.
There is something very lovely and also very 2020 about conducting a conversation with your kid entirely in emojis, but I am here for it.
We love sending multiple love hearts or cranky faces to each other via the Moochies app and phone message function. Frankly, I am just happy he still wants to communicate with me at all!
© Provided by Mamamia
6. Good looks and functionality are everything to a tween.
If it doesn't look cool, Toby won't wear it. Whether that is clothes, shoes or a smart watch, so when it came to his Moochies watch, the customisable swappable strap was a total winner. Toby went for a cartoon 'street art' look that was colourful and fun, yet still tween-age cool.
The fact his watch has an intuitive touch screen means it's easy to use and set up. Mind you, as a tech-savvy 10 year old, he had worked out how to use it in about 30 seconds while I was still studying the manual.
7. You can never have too many selfies.
We both love taking photos as my iPhone's ever decreasing storage will tell you. But Toby can now use his Moochies smartwatch phone to take snaps of himself at his mate's place, that he can save and share with me.
© Provided by Mamamia
I love seeing what he is up to from his perspective and he can even keep the watch on when he hops in the pool as it is fully waterproof - perfect for some summertime fun.
8. Security and safety means peace of mind for me.
If Toby is ever in real distress he can call me with just one press of an emergency button. We have also set up safe zones around his school and our home so that if he wanders outside of that area, I receive an immediate alert and can then call him to check he is OK and not off spending his pocket money on chocolate.
One thing I wasn't sure about was happens with all his data? Well, Moochies securely store the data from Toby's phone on their servers in Sydney. All traffic between the MyMoochies app from Jules and myself and Toby is secure and sensitive data is encrypted. Result!
We love that the Moochies smart phone watch and MyMoochies app is a winner for the whole family. I'll never stop worrying about Toby (or sending him love heart emojis) but then, nobody's perfect.
For your Moochies Smartwatch Phone for Kids to work, you will need to select a plan and activate your pre-installed SIM. Choose from two pre-paid,contract-free plans - the Basic plan at $14.95 a month, or the Popular plan at $19.95 per month.
The Moochies Smartwatch phone is available now at Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Target and BIG W.