Nowadays, everything is electronic. From tooth brushes to books, there’s an electronic version, which at times, might be more efficient than the alternative, but sometimes it just gets too out of hand. With this comes excessive screen time, which can be addicting, causing lots of issues! We have emojis or emoticons to express how we feel, rather than simply verbalizing. As adults, we might not buy into this modern lingo, but for our kids, digital overload can be detrimental.
With the screen time battler, being in touch with our kids has never been so challenging. Sure, we attempt to set limits, and even with my job, I have to create a balance. At 10 years old, Ryder is slowly, but surely, growing more and more independent. He commutes way uptown to school via bus, from the southern most tip of Manhattan, up to an hour each way everyday. With this, it’s been challenging not to consider giving him a cell phone to keep in touch and track his whereabouts, because his own phone would result in more unsupervised screen time. That is exactly why we decided to look into Relay.
Relay is a screen free communicator, built with young children in mind. Reminiscent of a walkie talkie, the Relay communicator connects to other Relay units, or parents cell phones, via the Relay app. Its platform works off cell towers, by way of SIM card, so reaching your children is not limited to their inconsistent proximity to WiFi.
There are some perks such as music, daily jokes, and gps tracker, so it doesn’t only serve one single purpose. But, it is such a great alternative to stay in touch without the distraction.
At $49 per handheld unit, and less than $10 per month for the service, Relay is cheaper than your average cell phone and cell phone plan. Ryder loves it, and I think he feels a form of responsibility that has added to his becoming more independent. He also feels more confident when traveling, because whether or not he’d admit it, sometimes it’s scary traveling around the city alone.
Relay has given us peace of mind, as we can easily reach him, without the concern that he’s playing video games or watching inappropriate content on a smartphone. A significant stepping stone toward building a stronger, independent young man!