Parenting, by nature, is a job of worry. It starts the second they are born (even before then) and it ends, well it never really ends.
But a new apps available to parents now allow them to track their child’s (and partners) every move through family social networks. But does that make them ok or is this just lazy parenting?
Take the time to browse the app store and you’ll find a tonne of apps all designed to alleviate the stress for parents in knowing where their children are. App’s like Familyinsafe uses GPS technology to show parents a pinpoint location of where their child is at any given moment. You can even see when they enter a pre chosen location, making them great for parents who arrive home from work after their children.
In an age of a thousand worries, this is the tool that modern parents need, according to a lot of people. Lost children, missed busses, runaways at the park. There are a million situations where an app like this might be helpful. I don't even want to mention some of the more frightening nightmares. It's also incredibly helpful to parents of teenagers, fighting each other in the battle to keep them safe, give them space. We all know how teenagers like to bend the truth a little. Well, this app could put an end to that. (Am I the only one happy it wasn't around when I was younger?!)
But is this really the right thing to do as a parent or is this just the lazy way out? As a mother of three I can see both sides of this argument. App's like the one mentioned create a big brother style environment for our children. They are under our watch all the time, and they know it. In using apps like this are we saying that we simply don't trust our teenagers. How do they learn to make decisions are flourish in a relationship of trust between parent and child if we never give them the freedom to do so?
It's the job of a teenager to push boundaries and it's our job as parents to enforce them, to let them learn from their mistakes. I've heard it said that app's which track your children are the modern day equivalent of reading your child's diary. Are they?
Not only that but the idea of being able (and wanting) to track your partner via these style of app's creates an environment of distrust. If you feel the need to check where your partner is throughout the day it could be suggested that the issue is within the relationship, rather than their actions. What does it say to our children about a trusting, loving relationship to see that we check in to see that our partners are where they say they are. I sure as hell wouldn't want the feeling that someone was watching my every move despite the fact that I have nothing to hide. It's just...icky.
The flip side to this argument though is that I see a parents job as a role with the sole purpose of keeping your child safe and happy and as a mum I will do whatever I have to in order to make sure this is the case. And if that means installing an app on their phones and tracking their activities than so be it.
The world is a scary place and children and teenagers in their god given nativity don't really understand the risks to them out there. We do and so we use whatever tools we have available to use to ensure their safety at all times.
Modern technology has changed the way we parent in many ways but are app's that track our children a good thing, or not?