Should You Use Tech to Track Your Kids?

using technology to track kids

using technology to track kids

It’s the nightmare that every parent has and dreads to think about. What if my child doesn’t come home? What if something happened? Usually it’s nothing, but it does happen, and more than you would like to admit.

So how can you prevent it from happening? Today’s technology can track your kids and teens by GPS-enabled smartphones. First used by the military and then commonly by the police and emergency services, GPS is now a commonplace tool for the public. Even though this technology is frequently used, should you track your kids with it? Here are some GPS-enabled tracking apps to consider:

AmberAlert GPS

It’s not a tracking device, and it’s not a walkie-talkie. It’s a Smart Locator device and here are some of its features:

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All Joy and No Fun: How Children Affect Their Parents

Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun.
Topic:
The paradox of modern parenthood.
Issues: How children compromise the autonomy parents have grown accustomed to; how children affect parental decision making, division of labor, and can strain a marriage; the true fun in having children is just sitting back, being passive, and enjoying kids being themselves; much more.

Kids, Tablets, Phones and Staying Safe Online

I don’t know about you but whenever I see a little kid playing with a tablet, I flash back to the beginning of Orson Scott Card’s Enders Game and think, “how did he know?!” It’s amazing how quickly tablets (and, to a lesser degree, smartphones) have gone from things we were pretty sure we didn’t want our kids using at young ages to things that are now almost common school supplies.

Seriously: some schools actually supply tablets to their students. Even when those kids are still in elementary school. I don’t know about you, but my second grader has a hard time remembering her lunchbox when she gets off the bus. I’m terrified over the idea of having to replace a lost tablet.
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Submissions Now Open for “Mr. Dad Seal of Approval”

Mr. Dad Seal of ApprovalWe’ve finally recovered from Toy Fair and are now accepting submissions for the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval‘s Spring 2014 and Father’s Day 2014 seasons. There is no fee to apply. If you have (or someone you know has) a toy, game, app, service, or anything else that gets dads and kids engaging together, we encourage you to visit mrdad.com/seal and fill out the simple application in the sidebar. Submission deadlines and announcement dates are below.

Season Submission Deadline Winners Announced
Spring 2014 March 31, 2014 Week of April 14, 2014
Father’s Day 2014 May 26, 2014 Week of June 2, 2014
Back to School 2014 August 25, 2014 Week of  September 7, 2014
Winter Holidays ’14 November 16, 2014 Week of December 1, 2014

Talking about Death + Teen Drivers

Joseph Primo, author of What Do We Tell the Children?
Topic:
Talking to kids about death and dying.
Issues: Learning to help kids deal with the “how” and “why” of death and loss; the importance of honest communication; giving kids coping skills they’ll be able to use throughout their lives.

Tim Hollister, author of Not So Fast.
Topic:
Parenting your teen through the dangers of driving
Issues: How brain development affects driving; what driver’s ed doesn’t produce safe drivers; how and why to prepare a “flight plan” for each drive before handing over the keys; how an when to say no.

Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment

[amazon asin=0762786655&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Luis Fernando Llosa, co-author of Beyond Winning.
Topic:
Smart parenting in a toxic sports environment
Issues: Why kids shouldn’t do organized sports until about age 11; the importance of not trying to live your sports fantasies through your children; avoiding bullying, trash talk, and elitism; picking sports based on your child’s developmental stage; suggestions for how to revamp the youth sports industry.