Parents who aren’t fully aware of what technologies are available to them that let them keep in touch with your kids may be missing out on quite a lot. You may think that this could just be some way to monitor your kids more closely and leave it at that but that’s where you may be mistaken. In this day and age of highly-accessible social media and influx of information at the fingertips of every internet user, you should also think of IT as a way to be closer with your children and show them that you’re interested in their endeavors and hobbies.
Now, this can also be misconstrued as a way for you to keep an eye on your kids, especially teenagers, too closely and may actually even create difficulty with them. In raising your kids right, you need to give them freedom to explore along with a guiding hand and appreciative audience. Making use of technology is one way for you to achieve all this.
How can you do all that without looking like you’re watching them like a hawk (even if you are)? Take a look at the following:
Just like any gift or reward, you have to make sure that they understand that the usage of such technology requires responsibility and guidance. You’re giving them freedom but letting them know that their phone services are subject to your scrutiny. You don’t have to make it hard for them or infringe on their privacy all the time. You just have to make them understand that you want them to text you their location more often or use apps that let you know where they are. You can set rules that they have to ‘check in’ with certain apps like Facebook and foursquare to let you know where they are. You give them freedom but also responsibility.
You may think that a special number is only useful for commercial establishments. But you may be unaware just how good an 800 number is for making your kids feel safe or at least calm during emergencies without you. Small children can memorize a repeating pattern of digits to say to policemen or other adults when they are lost or in trouble. Your undergraduates may find that being able to call you without any additional cost really helps their expenses and may also oblige them to call on you more since it’s free.
Keep in mind that their profiles and pages may be viewed by their peers or colleagues so keep your messages friendly and casual. You can still be a doting parent but able to elicit a good response from them in the presence of social circles.
Being involved in your kids’ or teens’ lives may be easier in some ways, but can also be more complicated if you don’t know how to manage technology and their freedom in your favor.