Teen Tracking Apps: To Use or not to Use?

There is no need to worry about the location of children in the evening anymore as there are apps that help parents to track it. Monitoring apps for parents become firmly established on the market of mobile apps and many parents believe that it is effective way of keeping in touch of all kid’s activities and all thoughtful parents should use them. However, psychologists name some pluses and minuses of these apps so parents should turn a question over mind before using them.

Think, for instance, of TeenSafe, parental control app that allows parents look through the location, call and message logs and social media activity. Ameeta Jain, co-founder of the app, states that it helped many parents to find out online bullying and prevent dangerous situations like driving in a car with drunken driver.

Teen Tracking AppsOn the contrary, Barbara Greenberg, a family clinical psychologist, points out that constant monitoring of the child’s smartphone will damage trust-based relationship between parents and teenagers. In fact, you give your child a clear message: “I don’t trust you”. Allow children to make mistakes, it is a natural process of growing up and by fixing or preventing all mistakes you take a part of child’s confidence in him or herself.

Michael Brody, member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, agrees with Greenberg, as to his mind, parents often defeating their purpose of protecting children. It is much better to know the passwords of the accounts of the children and aware children that they will be checked from time to time. And develop open communication with teens, teach them how to use social media and how to behave there.

Still, parental control apps help parents to prevent cyberbullying and protect teens from online predators. Jane Hitchock, the president of the volunteer organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, argues that point of view and suggests that all parents should use them because sometimes it helps to prevent even a possible suicide.

Moreover, think about privacy concerns. According to Paul Stephens from Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, it is necessary to check the operations with the collected data that a company is doing.  Collected data can be used for marketing materials so check the privacy policy of the chosen company.  And, of course, these apps can potentially be used to stalk other adults, who are not children of the user.