You have a teen, or maybe even a pre-teen, and you might be curious about their whereabouts or want to check in to see if they are driving safely. Amazingly, technology allows us to do this. When we were kids we “would have died” knowing our parents could monitor our location let alone what notes we were passing to friends ;)!
Should You Monitor Your Teen’s Activity?
Technology is definitely in our favor…but are we “helicopter parenting” our kids? With all of this technology, the option to helicopter parent is definitely available and we need to make a choice to not overuse (or could I even say abuse) this technology. Our kids need our trust. Checking in every 5 minutes is not healthy. Your family needs to consider the pros and cons of using a tracking app and decide what is best for you.
Be Honest with your Teen
If you decide to use a tracking device, it’s important to be upfront with our teens and let them know:
- The tracking app available, but that we are only going to use it every so often. Maybe a random check here or there or to see if they are almost home at curfew time.
- This is a trust builder, if you check in on the app and your teen is not where they said they would be, it decreases the trust.
- You are using this app because you care and love them, not to stalk them!
5 Best Apps to Track your Teen
So let’s get down to it. There are lots of options available to you, but here are 5 Apps to Track your Teen that we like:
TeenSafe is an all encompassing option. It allows parents to monitor location, calls, texts, Instagram, installed apps and more. It works on all Apple and Android devices. This app can be installed on multiple devices..so if you have more than one teen, this is a great option. You can even try it for free for one week. After the trial is over, there is a monthly fee of $14.95.
Life360 is nicknamed “The Family Circle” because it’s truly about everyone being involved with this app. Instead of parents just “monitoring”, kids can be active in the app. There is an option for a quick check-in when they have arrived to the location they are going to. There’s even automatic notifications for arrival, group chat for the family and more! The other things that are awesome about this app:
- You can have multiple circles or groups.
- It works on Apple, Android and Windows devices.
- It’s FREE!
Another jam-packed app is Secure Teen. There are lots and lots of options available with this app including a location finder, Facebook and Instagram monitoring, internet filtering, text message logging and so much more! There is a cost of $39.99/year. You can track up to 3 devices for this price. This app is a lot of bang for your buck!
The Find My Friends app is only for Apple users. It’s a great basic economical option (it’s free!). It allows you to easily locate friends and family using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Find My Friends even lets you set up location-based alerts that can notify you automatically when a friend arrives at the airport, a child leaves school, or a family member arrives home safely. You can also set up alerts to notify friends about changes in your location.
Grab this app over in the App Store.
Have a teen driver? The Canary Project app for you! The key components include:
- Know instantly when your teen is texting, tweeting, or doing anything else behind the wheel
- Receive notifications the second your child makes or takes a phone call while on the road
- Set maximum speed limits and get alerts when your teen goes over them
- Easily set a perimeter on a map and get alerts when your teen is outside it after curfew
The Canary app raises an alarm to parents when their teens are in danger. Another praise to The Canary Project for offering this app for free.
All 5 of these options offer up something different but unique. You may have to try a few before you decide which app works best for your family. Each app, though, offers a peace of mind that you can quickly check in on your child to ensure their safety.