As we all know, with freedom comes great responsibility. The teenage years are when your children will yearn for one of those with no desire for the other. So, unless you are a moron, we have to keep them on a tight but extendable rope. We, ourselves, have to walk a fine balance between giving them freedom and setting boundaries.
I love my children, but I will not be blinded to the fact that they can’t and shouldn’t be trusted. It is our job to question everything they do or say. We have to know what they’re doing and with whom. In the past, that would have meant covert surveillance at the spur of the moment and following them without being caught. Luckily, we are able to monitor them easier than ever now with all the apps that are available.
I suffer a terrible addiction to the app store. Anybody is able to build an app so new ones come out daily. There are even apps you can download to help you build an app. I have a few that are my favorites when it comes to parenting. Also, I am beyond appreciative that my teenage years were before all this technology and camera-based apps. It would not have been pretty.
The person that invented this app needs a Nobel peace prize. This app lets you know where your child, or whomever you put on the app, is located at any moment you decide you want to check. It will also tell you what percentage their phone battery is and how fast they are driving! I have actually grounded my son twice due to this app. Once, for going 70 in a 45 and once for being somewhere that he was not supposed to be at.
This app is a 100% must have as a parent of a teen but, please note, it is not foul-proofed. They can leave their phone somewhere and go somewhere else. They can turn it off. I’m always looking for ways around things and this one has it. However, I haven’t seen my children without a phone near them or in their hand in years so, I think I’m okay.
Cozi Family Organizer
Everyone is on the same page, literally, with this app. This is a shared family calendar that anyone can add to or adjust as needed. You can all be kept up to date with one posting. It really is a time saver.
But, be on the lookout for kids erasing any dreaded appointments or un-enjoyable activities such as dental appointments or baby showers. Let my lessons, the ones I have learned the hard way most of the time, help you!
This is the app that you use to divvy out the chores. If you have a large household like I do, we are constantly rotating chores to reflect changes in the schedules and lives of all of us. You can list items that are to be done by every member of your household, no matter how many you may have. My spouse hates it.
You can make chore lists with just a few items up to literally hundreds. You can create a honey-do list that won’t get thrown away! The possibilities are endless. This app keeps the chores digitally listed and updated so that everyone is kept informed of any changes made and cannot feign ignorance as to why the socks have not been matched.
This is the app I use for my kids’ debit cards. Money gets transferred upon completion of the chores. Mind you, the chores have to be approved as done by me. A thirteen-year-old has far-reaching boundaries as far as what is considered clean or done. It has to be completed according to my satisfaction.
I can also keep an eye on what they spend and how they choose to spend their money. As I do financial counseling, they would be wise to listen to me. But, as I’m also their Mom, I’m considered to be a nerd that doesn’t know about anything. Hopefully, I will have made a difference in their financial habits before I am kicked out of their business permanently.