This article is a little different than the kinds of things I normally post here, but I think it’s a really cool idea for every parent to keep in mind for their “digital” children….
Location monitoring is a recent innovation, based on modern GPS technology. Parents can now use it to determine where their children are, particularly when they are in their teens. As a parent, you may be hesitant about using this impressive bit of technology on kids and teens. Perhaps you may think of it as an intrusion, or you may be afraid that they will be angry with you.
The fact is, however, that teenagers are still minors and that it is your perrogative to use whatever means you have at your disposal to monitor them. Teens are learning and growing during a time when they’re given increasing amounts of responsibilities and it is natural for there to be some issues along the way.
Location monitoring is not creepy, as it is simply another method parents can use to safely guide teens into the “real world” in the digital era. Just as we keep an eye on young children when they’re playing at a playground, location monitoring is a precaution parents can take when providing tweens and teens with more freedom. Imagine all of the times in the past that location monitoring could have saved you (or your own parents) some grief.
Here are two instances in which location monitoring can save the day:
1. Staying Out Past Curfew
It is all too common for teens to hang out with their friends after school and end up coming home past curfews. When teens fail to arrive by curfew times and are unavailable to be reached by their cell phones, location monitoring can come in handy. Whether you discover they’re in a dangerous situation and need your help, are out defying your rules with their friends, or simply lost track of time, location monitoring can come to the rescure.
2. Getting Into an Accident
Traffic accident rates for those ages 16-19 are the highest of any other demographic. Location monitoring can be an excellent measure to take to ensure new drivers are safe while on the road. They may be stranded on the roadside with no one to come to their aid, or they may even be in the hospital—although in the latter case you would probably be contacted by those in charge. Both big and small accidents require fast action, which location monitoring can enable.
Their Locations Are Probably Already Being Tracked
With the digital age we live in, chances are that your teen’s locations are already being tracked (whether it be enabled on their phones purposefully or inadvertently) by a social network or app company. Using location monitoring ultimately ensures that GPS information goes to the right person: a parent!
The biggest benefit of location monitoring is that it will leave parents confident about teens’ activities and whereabouts each time they leave the house. It is only natural for parents to worry about the safety and welfare of children. Also keep in mind that if young teens are doing what they are supposed to be doing, then the fact that you are using location monitoring shouldn’t make a difference in their daily lives, but will provide you with true peace of mind.
Through uKnowKids’ Family Locator feature, parents can add geofences around teens’ phones, enabling them to set up alerts when teens either enter or leave a specific area. These check-in alerts can be recurring (parents can be notified about kids’ whereabouts every day at 9 AM, for example) and/or scheduled for one event.