Back-to-School Guide: Helping Your Kids Stay Safe and Productive

AUG 09, 2023

Back-to-School Guide: Helping Your Kids Stay Safe and Productive

The start of a new school year is a big deal. The transition from familiar to unfamiliar is a common source of stress and anxiety and a new school—or even just a new grade in school–represents a lot of unfamiliarity. 

Worry and concern come with the territory as a parent but there are things you can do to help your child stay safe and productive this school year. And that brings you a lot of peace of mind.

Safety is the foundation of our mission at Gabb so all of our devices are packed with features designed specifically to help parents keep their kids safe. Below we’ve highlighted some key features you may want to utilize on your kid’s Gabb Watch, Gabb Phone, or Gabb Phone 3 Pro this school year to give you and your child a little more security as you turn the page to a new chapter.

Child Lock on Phone (aka Focus Mode)

Focus mode is a feature on Gabb Watch 3 that ensures kids are connected, but not consumed. Using the MyGabb app, parents can remotely mute the device, increase ringtone volume, and even lock all applications, calls, and messages. For urgent or emergency situations, primary and guardian contacts and the SOS button are always unlocked.

With the focus and silent mode features on Gabb watches, this means you can be sure your child’s device won’t be a distraction in the classroom and other settings while also keeping you connected at all times.

lock mode on phone

GPS location services (tracking and safe zones)

Every Gabb device comes with reliable GPS and tracking functionality. This is handy in a lot of ways but two of the most popular—and most applicable to a new school year—are safe zones and lost device tracking.

With safe zones, you can set up customizable locations through the MyGabb app on your smartphone to get notifications when your child exits and enters a specified area (e.g. school).

You can also use the MyGabb app to help track a misplaced device’s general location then trigger an audible alert to pinpoint that device once you’re within earshot. It’s an easy way to determine if your child’s device is just buried in their backpack upstairs or was left at school.

No internet browser, social media apps, or unchecked app stores

Although the absence of these features is technically not a feature itself, it is one of the top reasons parents turn to Gabb. The potential negatives of an internet browser, social media apps, and addictive games are pretty well-known by now. But you need a way to stay connected to your children and safety settings on adult smartphones don’t bring the same peace of mind as a device without those options in the first place.

Gabb believes kids benefit from taking tech in steps. With our devices and service plans, parents can give their kids and teens a tailored tech experience that provides the right amount of tech at the right time. This can range from a fully locked-down experience to a device that allows parents to enable 3rd-party apps that have been carefully reviewed by Gabb.

Gabb Music

Music is powerful. For good and bad. Inappropriate music can have negative effects on mature and developing minds, but the right music can be a great way to counterbalance many of the stressors and challenges of a new school year. 

Good music has been found to improve memory, energize and motivate the listener, and increase social connection and strengthen relationships. If that’s not enough good news, it’s also been found to positively impact identity formation, relegate and elevate mood, and improve sleep.

Gabb Music Donut Logo

The trick for parents has always been finding a good way to expose their kids to the benefits of music, while shielding them from the dangers. That’s pretty much Gabb Music in a nutshell.

Built from the ground up with kids in mind, Gabb Music offers a safe music library curated from millions of new releases and top hits from all genres with the assurance that every song has passed rounds of digital and human review.

Gabb Messenger

One of the biggest benefits of school is the social interaction it gives your kids. But now, two decades into the 21st century, it’s hard to deny that at least some of that social interaction has spilled into the digital sphere—even for junior high and grade school kids.

Gabb Messenger is our built-from-scratch child messaging app that safely handles SMS (text), MMS (video/photo), and group chat. Features like parent monitoring, focus mode, and pre-emptive filtering allow children to connect with friends and family while protecting them from bullying, grooming, ads, and screen addiction.

What are the features you care about most for your kids? Let us know in the comments!


  • Rodney Richardson on Aug 15, 2022 03:48 AM

    This doesn’t seem to be an actual feature on the phone.

  • Gabb on Aug 15, 2022 04:23 PM

    Which feature are you referring to, Rodney?

  • Dave on Oct 07, 2022 02:28 PM

    Messages from parents to our daughter are blocked, without any reason stated.

  • Gabb on Oct 14, 2022 12:45 PM

    Hi there! If you have a Gabb Phone Plus, to help with this make sure your Gabb Phone Plus is updated as shown here. If you are still having issues please reach out to us!

  • Elizabeth on Oct 21, 2022 02:23 PM

    This article talks about parent monitoring and focus mode on Gabb Messenger, but these features don’t exist, do they? I was told there was no parent monitoring. I’m left confused and disappointed.

  • Gabb on Oct 24, 2022 03:27 PM

    Hi Elizabeth, the parent monitoring that it is talking about is the fact that all messages are archived which means that at any point you could review your child's device and their messages because they cannot be deleted. We apologize for any confusion and hope this answers your question.

  • Alicia on Oct 31, 2022 09:34 AM

    There doesn’t seem to be a lock mode for the gabb phone and the gps is useless. My kid turns on the battery saver and that’s it. GPS gets turned off and there is no way to find the phone anymore. Why isn’t there a way to keep kids from accidentally disabling the gps?

  • James on Dec 22, 2022 10:07 PM

    After spending 30.00 for just shipping,, activation fee, and monthly charge. I find out that you cant even read your child’s text messages. I cant limit who they talk to or see what is being said but you think this is one of the “safest phones….I don’t want to even speak about how awful The gps is on the phone

  • Lindsay on Dec 24, 2022 09:19 AM

    I was under the impression the gabb phone had more parental controls such as text monitoring, only allowing certain contact numbers, and ability to allow phone operation during certain hours. Pretty disappointed.

  • Gabb on Dec 29, 2022 09:14 AM

    Hi James. We are sorry to hear that you were unaware of these things. Your GPS issue does not sound normal for our devices and we would love to help you troubleshoot. Please use our online chat to contact a member services representative so we can take care of you.

  • Gabb on Dec 29, 2022 09:23 AM

    Hi Lindsay, we are sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the device because of this. Please contact us if you are in need of a return and we would be happy to assist.

  • Liz on Dec 29, 2022 10:18 PM

    Why on earth is there no lock mode or text monitoring option on the phone? It makes zero sense that lock mode is only available on the watch. There are many faults with Apple’s parental controls, but at least they exist!

  • Carissa on Dec 31, 2022 07:08 PM

    Wish parent controls on gabb phone plus gave the ability to set a bed time so the device shuts off at a certain time or can be shut off with a simple tap. (Google family link has this) for My older daughter's phone, while her younger siblings phone I physically have to take rather than shut off if chores, homework, etc. aren't done and it proves difficult if I am not home. Please make this feature available from the app.

  • Kasondra on Jan 02, 2023 01:46 PM

    What do you mean, the text message are archived not deleted? Do we have to request a copy of messaged if we are concerned about a conversation that might have been deleted?

  • Gabb on Jan 05, 2023 03:29 PM

    Hi Liz! These are great bits of feedback that we will definitely take to our team. Thank you for speaking up and offering your insight.

  • Gabb on Jan 05, 2023 04:00 PM

    Hi Kasondra, messages cannot be deleted unless they have been archived by the kid for 30 days. After that, there is no way to retrieve them.

  • Gabb on Jan 05, 2023 04:04 PM

    This is great feedback, Carissa. We will make sure our product team sees this as they take all of these requests very seriously!

  • Michael Couch on Jan 06, 2023 06:52 AM

    I was under the impression random people would or could not be calling or messaging my child. We keep getting different people calling his Gabb phone, and I’ve seen random strangers just messaging saying call them. This is unacceptable!! Safest phone they say, but the only thing I see that is restricted is internet access! Not only that, but I’m paying the extra money to be able to send and receive pictures with my kiddo, but when I send a picture, it takes well over 30 minutes to download it!!

  • Sarah on Jan 06, 2023 09:07 PM

    Super super disappointed in this phone. We bought thinking our child would be protected. Anyone can call or text our child. We have had already multiple random numbers trying to call the phone. You can block but they can still call and my child can still answer. I would of never purchased this phone knowing the things it can't do 😞.

  • S87 on Jan 07, 2023 04:24 PM

    Unfortunately I was unaware that my daughter could download content from the internet with a USB cable to a laptop. Now she has hours of shows downloaded.

  • Gabb on Jan 10, 2023 10:44 AM

    Hi there, this is not common for our devices and we would like to help you solve this issue. Please reach out to our customer support team via online chat so we can help.

  • Gabb on Jan 10, 2023 11:19 AM

    Hi Sarah, we hear you and understand the concern about spam. We take spam so seriously and are always working internally to take care of this. We have found several troubleshooting steps that help with spam. Pease contact us via online chat and we can help!

  • Gabb on Jan 10, 2023 11:20 AM

    Hi Michael, we hear you and understand the concern about spam. We take spam so seriously and are always working internally to take care of this. We have found several troubleshooting steps that help with spam and the issue you are experiencing with the picture messages. Pease contact us via online chat and we can help!

  • MBY on Mar 05, 2023 06:35 AM

    Can you please add a lock mode to the phone so that texting and calls cannot be made after a certain time? Google Family Link has this and it is so helpful.

  • Tanya on Mar 06, 2023 11:37 PM

    Hi! We like our son’s Gabb phone, but really wish as well that there was a lock feature on the phone like there is on the watch. I’d lock that sucker down during school hours so he could only contact me if needed. Betting teachers wouldn’t hate that feature either. 😄

  • Gabb on Mar 07, 2023 03:25 PM

    That would be helpful! We will pass this along to our team, thank you!

  • Gabb on Mar 07, 2023 03:26 PM

    Totally, we see how that would be helpful! We will pass this feedback along to our team!

  • rtaft on May 06, 2023 12:10 AM

    please add a lock mode to the phone

  • Gabb on May 25, 2023 09:46 AM

    Great feedback! We would be happy to pass that along to our product team.

  • Renee on Jun 16, 2023 10:52 PM

    Your ads promised the gabb phone had parental controls such as text monitoring, only allowing certain contact numbers, and ability to allow phone operation during certain hours. Pretty disappointed and I feel like I’ve been misled. I can’t read the texts? How is this helpful?

  • Gabb on Jun 21, 2023 02:07 PM

    Hi Renee! We are sorry for any confusion and are happy to help clear this up for you! We do have our new parent Gabb messenger app currently rolling out in our newest update. This new parent Gabb app helps notify parents of incoming and outgoing messages, manage an Approved Contact List, and manage whether the child can delete messages on their phone. This is not fully released yet as it is currently slowly rolling out to each of our customers. If you have any further questions on that, please reach out to our Customer Support team and they would be happy to help further!

  • Morgan on Oct 03, 2023 09:53 AM

    When in lock mode it seems my son can still play the preset musical tones... is there a way to update so those are locked as well? At school it is a distraction.

  • Gabb on Oct 04, 2023 10:51 AM

    Hi Morgan! We would be happy to help take a look into this and make sure we are understanding! Could we have you contact our Customer Support team via live chat on our website so they can help take a further look into this with you?

  • Ella on Jan 09, 2024 09:10 PM

    hi is there anyway i can turn on a safe facetime on my kids phone? because she said she can video call herself but no one else

  • Gabb on Jan 12, 2024 03:54 PM

    Hi Ella! Here is some information on video calling on Gabb devices!,either%20side%20of%20the%20call.

  • Michelle on May 11, 2024 01:15 PM

    I’m very disappointed with the gabb phone. My son had the gabb watch. I loved many of the features with the watch such as being able to set times the watch could/could not be used such as school. The phone doesn’t have this feature. Plus anyone can call and text the phone. I wish I would have know this before upgrading to the phone. The phone is such a waste of money.

  • Gabb on May 13, 2024 02:51 PM

    Hi Michelle! Thank you for sharing with us, and we truly appreciate hearing from our users. The differences between the phone and the watch can be found on our website. We are very sorry to hear you have not loved your experience with the phone as much, and if there is anything we could do to help we would be happy to!

  • Alicia on May 15, 2024 10:39 PM

    Also disappointed. I really need a lock option on the phone. Or the ability to use Google Family Link. Surely it should be a simple option to turn off phone connectivity during school and sleeping hours. The Go Task feature would be nice for the phone as well - to be able to require tasks to be completed to then unlock the phone.

  • Gabb on May 16, 2024 02:08 PM

    Alicia we appreciate your feedback and concerns! We are always happy to pass these along to our team. If you are having any other troubles, you can also reach out to our amazing support team via chat/call on our website!

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