Keeping Everyone In Check
When I was growing up, there were a lot of things my mom did to frustrate my friends’ parents. Letting us have friends over while she worked the graveyard shift was one of them. I don’t know how many parents would be OK with their kids being unsupervised at someone else’s house when they are in middle school. I’m sure my mom meant well — she didn’t want to leave us alone, but she had to work two jobs to support her two kids as a single parent — but 12 is a pivotal age. It’s that age when you are starting to make sense of the world — and beginning to notice the bad things in it. My friends and I were involved in too many extra-curricular activities in school to be super bad kids, but we definitely got in some trouble back then.
The biggest trouble was watching religiously Eddie Murphy’s Raw on VHS until we had it memorized. The stand-up comedian was way too raunchy for pre-teens. We didn’t completely understand everything he was talking about but pretended like we did and made a point to repeat it to each other, especially across the classroom or band room or lunch room at school. There were a lot of F-words — and a lot of detention. I’m so embarrassed thinking about it now and still blame my swearing habit on those days.
Luckily for parents these days, there is technology that will allow you to monitor what your kids are doing even when you can’t be there.
Depending on how old your kids are, you really don’t want to get too involved with their communications, but there’s nothing wrong with syncing their smart-phone to your own Mac or PC regularly to make sure the content is kid-friendly. I’m not suggesting that you read all of their messages, but there is security software for smartphones and tablets that allow you to set a limit for texts or calls, as well as filter content your kid can view on the Internet.
There’s also a great locator app called Life360 to keep track of everyone in your family in a less abrasive way than calling to check in. Teens especially aren’t so excited to talk to mom or dad when they’re with their friends, so a quick check-in that lets the entire family know where they are is a much better way to stay connected and out of trouble. A messaging feature allows for a quick text if you see someone’s on their way home and you need eggs. Plus, the location tracking can be turned on or off to avoid over-sharing.
Life360 also works with sports teams, dance groups, or in my case, my cancer team. When I got sick, I needed a way to communicate with everyone to make sure I always had someone available to check on me when I couldn’t do much. I wish I knew about this app then, but it will make a great tool once I have a family!
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII. HER NIGHTLIFE BLOG SUPERCITY RUNS EVERY WEDNESDAY ON HONOLULUPULSE.COM