If your tweens don’t already own cell phones, they have probably been begging you for their own. While you may think that they are too young to own a phone, more than likely, a number of their peers already possess one. Using cell phones to protect your tween from trouble is a good idea. According to a survey conducted by the National Consumers League (NCL), 56 percent of parents with tweeners have bought cell phones for their children. And the higher the income in your area, the more likely the children in your neighborhood will be armed with a mobile device. The NCL’s survey revealed that 62 percent of parents with incomes of over $100,000 a year have bestowed phones on their young ones.
Before you bemoan the state of the nation, however, parents aren’t just giving phones to their offspring to spoil them. Some parents actually give their children cell phones for their own peace of mind. Because many types of smartphones now contain GPS, parents can actually use apps to keep track of their children’s whereabouts.
Why Track Your Child?
Tweens are at the age where they are beginning to test their limits and yours. While you may not be able to completely prevent all of the conflicts that will arise, there are ways that you can help limit the trouble your tweens can get into. One of these ways is through the use of apps to keep track of your children.
Find My Phone
If you decide to give your tween an iPhone, you can use the free Find My iPhone app to check on your child’s location. Say your tween tells you he or she is going to the movies, but you’ve heard through your mommy sources that her friends might be throwing a party. With the Find My iPhone app, you can discreetly check to see if her phone is where she says she was going to be. Of course, there is a slim chance that she might leave her phone at home, but today’s tweens are rarely without their trusted mobile devices.
This app, which is available for both Android and iOS, will help you keep track of the whereabouts of all of your family members. In addition, it can also help you find your phone even if you have it on silent mode. Family Tracker, available from the Apple iTunes store, is $4.99, and allows you to keep track of an unlimited number of users.
MamaBear Child Tracking
This free app could be a mom’s best friend. Not only will this app help you locate your child, it can also let you know if your kid has gone to an area you’ve designated as off limits. MamaBear also has a number of other great features that will help keep your child safe. For example, this app can send you an alert if your child is tagged in a photo or does a check-in on Facebook or Instagram.
Monitoring Your Child’s Online Identity
It’s not just your children’s physical being that is at risk these days. Your children’s identity is also a target for criminals. According to Richard Power, a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, children’s social security numbers are especially prized by criminals since they are blank slates ready to be manipulated by identity thieves. Wise parents are employing services such as Lifelock Junior nowadays, to protect their children’s identities. Lifelock also has services available for protecting your SSN and other important information from identity thieves.
Written by Drew Fleming
Drew finds the best apps to apply to your own life so you don’t have to.