I’ve always felt that stalking my children is my God-given right. They are my responsibility until they turn 18 and until then, I plan to know where they are at all times, whom they are with and what they are doing. It’s part and parcel of being my child.
I’m a careful, micromanaging, paranoid, protective mum and I’m perfectly happy with that. My oldest, Philip, 12, is not so happy.
After one too many lost devices I’d been thinking of downloading an app with which I could located them, thus saving myself hundreds of dollars in replacements and as I pondered the different options, Pokémon GO launched.
Pokémon GO, the bane of parents’ existence. The words that fill us with dread.
Jo talks about why she needs an app to tell her where her kids are:
That’s exactly what parents need – a game their children are desperate to play that requires them to wander down random streets and to various locations hunting characters and Poke-balls and finding Poke-stations and Poke-gyms.
I fought it at first, then I let them download it onto their phone and play in our front and back yard only. Then Philip started to want to take it further, so I took him for a few walks before I got a bit sick and tired of tagging along. Then a mum friend of mine and I organised for our boys to do it together, locally, and she sent me a link to an app that has changed my parenting experience for the better.
Family Map. Or as my son now calls it, Stalker App.
What is Pokémon GO? Post continues after this video…
Family Map allows you to track your family member’s whereabouts at all times, so long as they have downloaded the app on their device and you have linked them to your home account, which I have. So far just myself, my husband and Philip are on it and as a result, my son is enjoying more freedom than he ever has before.
He can now play Pokémon GO locally, walk down the road to his cousin’s house and I even let him walk to the local shops with his friends.
The first few times he went off on his own I confess, I sat down with a cup of tea and watched his location on the app. It comforted me to know where he was.
The app has had other advantages too. He and his brother and sister catch the school bus home and it always arrives at different times. By checking the app I know when to stand at the bus stop and how far away he is.