With school back in session, it’s important that you know where your child is and if he or she is in a potentially dangerous situation. Many parents, particularly those of tweens and teenagers, are often accused of being “too nosey” or untrusting. Caring about your child’s safety, at any age, doesn’t make you intrusive, but it might make you seem “uncool”. So, how do you keep track of your child without seeming like a “helicopter parent”? Here are some apps that may be helpful in monitoring your child’s whereabouts without sacrificing their independence:
Never Walk Alone
There will come a time when you’ll have to let your child walk alone. Whether it’s a few blocks to a friend’s house for a sleepover, a paper route job, a solo run for cross country practice, or a freshman on a college campus, your child will never truly have to walk alone. This app allows the user to check in with any of his or her contacts or “companions”. As a parent, if you request that your child “check in” with you, this app allows you to check in without making a phone call. While this app is better suited for teens and young adults (or older), it’s a great way of saying “I want you to know I’m okay” and “Thanks for keeping an eye on me”. Even better? This app is free.
As busy parents of busy children, it’s often hard to plan schedules and know where your children are at all times. This “ultimate parenting app” allows parents to stay connected even when they can’t be there. For example, you may have a late night at the office. Even if you asked your daughter to return home by 5 pm, you can check in without calling. Additionally, you can check social media, texts, and whether or not your teen driver is adhering to speed limits. While your kid may think you’re being a little too protective, it might be best to discuss what reasonable access you have. Dads, don’t be afraid of the app name, it’s for you, too.
In the age of kids growing up too fast, this app may be helpful to you before your child actually becomes a teen. The Teen Safe app allows parents to view texts, phone calls, Instagram pictures, and a phone’s location. While this might make you feel like the ultimate “helicopter parent”, it’s important to know about your teen’s whereabouts. The best way to use this app is to inform your child is that you plan to use it. It shouldn’t be used as an alternative to trust, but rather as a “looking out” from afar. These days bullying and social media harassment can get out of hand. This app may help you intervene, keep your children safe, and even save his or her life.
Apps are not meant to replace the presence of a parent in a child’s life, but for the parents and children who are busy and have a hard time coordinating schedules, these apps offer an opportunity for parents and kids of all ages to stay connected throughout the day.