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There are many perils involved with parenting. Most of them revolve around keeping a child safe. They need to be kept safe from external physical threats, from their own developing brain, and from online threats. One of the most difficult tightropes any parent must walk is the line between keeping a child safe and raising a child who is afraid of everything.
Cell phones are an excellent way to monitor where children and teens are without constantly asking or having them feel as though they are having their privacy invaded. Some cell phone providers have native applications that allow the GPS of a phone to be shared with other users on the plan. There are also apps in both the App Store and Google Play that allow the location of a device to be monitored.
Alternatively, wearable trackers that can be placed on keychains or backpacks can be used. Wearable trackers are great for children who are not old enough for a phone or who may be prone to forgetting to charge it.
The importance of great home security can’t be overstated. This is true for people without children, but especially relevant for those who have children in the home. Deadbolt locks are essential for children who like to open doors when parents are sleeping.
Another option is a home security system like those offered by Black Hat Security Systems. The wonderful thing about modern security systems is their modularity that makes them entirely customizable for the needs of individual families. They have also become much more affordable over the past decade.
Home security isn’t just limited to keeping children in the home where it is safer. It is also about creating a safer home environment. This can include baby gates to create safe zones, outlet covers, furniture that is anchored to the wall securely, and soft bumpers on the edges of furniture. Measures within the home will be dictated largely by the age of the child and their maturity.
Once a child reaches the age where they are allowed to earn their driver’s license, a whole new set of peril enters into their lives. It is important to teach them to drive safely, effectively, and even defensively. Some driving classes can also help lower the cost of auto insurance for younger drivers. Part of learning to be a safe driver is knowing the risk involved in using a cell phone while behind the wheel.
One way to ensure teens are not driving and texting is to install an app that disables the phone while it is in motion. Alternatively, there are some apps like Canary that will notify parents if the teen uses the phone while they are driving and if they go outside a predefined driving perimeter.
Cell phones can either be an additional danger for parents to worry about or they can be leveraged to become an additional safety tool to keep teens safe. Some teens may not like the added precautions, however, they can be presented as requirements to earn the privilege of driving to lessen resistance.
With the increased use of smartphones, social networks, and internet use it is almost certain that at some point a child or teen will encounter a predator or bully while online. It is important that children be taught the basics of internet safety from the moment they are allowed access to the internet. This includes things like never share photographs or personal information with people you have not met in person and to keep security settings fully engaged on all apps.
Protecting a child from the perils of life is the hardest part of being a parent. It’s easy to second guess yourself and worry that what you’ve done is never enough. Do not fall victim to this type of self-doubt. Research and implement the best practices for every area over which you have control and teach your child personal responsibility and continue to walk the line between protection and smothering.
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