Having children is a beautiful part of many people’s lives. From guiding them through their first experiences (like riding a bicycle or driving a car) to cheering them on at sporting events, being a parent can be fulfilling and wonderful. That is, until your kids begin wandering out of your sight and disobeying you.
It’s normal for children to feel a need to rebel from time to time — it’s a natural part of growing up. But it’s necessary for parents to be prepared for these moments, and this involves keeping tabs on your children. Here are a few tips for tracking your wandering, marauding kids.
Make use of phone-tracking technology
One of the easiest ways to consistently locate a wandering child or teen is by tracking their cell phones. Police do this to keep track of suspected criminals, and you can do it to ensure the safety of your kids. You can actually track a person by phone number using certain software you would only have to download to your own phone. This means that you would not have to download anything on their phone, and you could track them without their knowledge. Whether or not to tell them is a personal/parental choice, but this type of hidden surveillance is potentially the most effective if you have a tricky teen who tries to get out of being caught when they know they are being tracked. Though we mention it first, this may be more useful as a method of last resort.
Place a portable GPS in their bag
A more transparent way to track your child involves attaching a portable GPS device on or inside your child’s backpack, purse, or bag. This method most likely necessitates a meaningful conversation about trust and obedience. Hopefully your child will understand that their safety is paramount to you and will agree to follow the rules regarding the device. By contrast, hiding the device has the potential to undermine the relationship by upsetting your kid, who may discover it and try to ditch it — or worse yet, continually mislead you with it. If your child already is acting out and demonstrating some rebellious behavior based on perceived independence, this method may prove ineffectual.
Have them text your regular updates
In an ideal situation, one in which you are working on building trust with your child, after an in-depth discussion, you would have them send you text or image updates at agreed-upon intervals when they’re out with friends. This may seem a bit awkward, but if they are on board, then you have a framework to start from. If they then break the verbal contract or they are caught in a lie, you can move on to the GPS device discussion or simply install phone tracking application to see if they’re telling the truth in the future.
Join parental mailing lists
Lastly, to pick up a range of tips and stories on surveilling your kids, seek out and subscribe to parental communities email lists and follow parenting blogs. This should take minimal effort: Once you join one or two groups or even after you begin using search terms, related businesses and even online communities using targeted mailing lists will actually begin seeking you out one you’ve begun this process. On these forums, you can hear stories and gain insight from what other parents have experienced. See what other families deal with and how they ensure child safety. You might pick up tips you can implement in your own routine. You’d be surprised by how many families go through the same issues with their kids.
Kids are always going to try and rebel a little bit. It’s not a matter of if but when. So instead of worrying about the fact that they’re rebelling, focus on keeping track of them so that you can keep them out of trouble. Definitely consider working on building trust with your kids, but with today’s technology, be sure to keep a watch on where they go with friends.