Blue Suit Mom

How to Establish Check-Ins with Your Kids & Know Their Whereabouts

Establishing rules and routines with your school-age children is critical to not only establishing their ability to handle responsibility but also for ensuring their safety. If you work out of the home or are frequently gone during the day, it’s even more important for kids to know the boundaries and expectations. If you find the routines you have established aren’t working or if you’re constantly nagging your kids about your expectations, consider the following:

  • Have a family meeting: Ask your kids their opinion of what’s working about the routines and expectations and what’s not. What would make it easier? Ask kids to come up with their own rules for checking in with you so they feel more compelled to buy in to what’s expected.
  • Leave a written note: This could be a text message to their phone or a note left on the table. A list of tasks should be clear in their priority. Tell your kids to call or text when they arrive home or the tasks have been completed. If you child loves the internet, control their access with Circle by Disney and turn the internet on and off from your smartphone when they have completed what you have asked.
  • Be consistent and age-appropriate: Older kids should be held to a higher standard than younger ones. But don’t flex on what’s expected or kids can feel that the rules are mere guidelines, not something that they need to strictly follow. Make sure kids understand the consequences for not checking in with you or doing the tasks you have outlined and enforce the consequences every time.
  • Don’t micromanage: You don’t need your kid to text you in-between every class or every ten minutes when they are with friends. Checking in with you should be easy and not a burden. A good rule of thumb is to have you kids let you know when they have left the house, when they have left school, when they have arrived home, and if they are going to someone else’s house.

When these measures aren’t enough or when you want a little extra certainty about their whereabouts, here are some extra measures you can take:

Install a Smart Lock

Now you can know exactly when you child arrives home with a smart door lock. August attaches to your existing door hardware and is compatible with iOS and Android. You can lock and unlock your front doors from the app or grant custom access “keys” for each child. The app tracks 24/7, so you can always know who enters and leaves.

Use a GPS App

If your child has an iPhone or Android, upload a GPS app such as Life360 that tracks your child’s exact location using real-time data. Set up locations so that you can be notified when your child leaves school, arrives at a friend’s house, or comes home. You can also use the app to find that lost or missing phone. With a small subscription fee, the app also detects crime areas, keeps a 30-day history of your kids’ comings and goings, and has the ability to send instant alerts and emergency response if your child is involved in a crash.

Install a Security Camera System

This is as much for their safety as for yours. And you don’t have to pay for pricey monitoring services to know what’s happening at your home while you are away. This FLIR Secure HD WiFi Security camera can record activity and has a no-hassle setup. It’s also equipped with two-way audio capability so if you hear something happening that shouldn’t be, you can contact your child, neighbors or the authorities. You can even hear the dog crying at the back door and text your child to let him out.

Spy in Secret

If you are feeling worried about the activities your child might be involved in, such as sex, drugs, pornography, or skipping school, you can download an app that tracks it all for you without your child knowing. With SpyBubble you can find out who you child is calling, when and for how long. The app also provides text messaging reports and shows you what your child is saying or doing on social media websites such as Facebook or YouTube.

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