Is Smartphone Tracking an Appropriate Parenting Approach?


As technology continues to improve and play a more and more central role in our lives, it also tends to create some issues that can seem hard to address. For example, the way kids actively use their smartphones and other mobile devices and are constantly glued to their screens can be a bit of an issue for those with lower self-control, and it can lead to the development of various unpredictable problems that parents may not discover until it’s too late.

It’s a double-edged sword though – technology can also help us make some sense of what’s going on in our kids’ daily lives with regards to their device usage, and as long as you have the right tools for the job, you can easily keep track of what the young ones are doing. The question for most parents is whether this is a viable long-term approach in the first place.

How It Works

There are various products on the market today designed specifically to allow parents to check on their kids and track their activities. You’ll get access to the full list of calls and messages sent with the device, and you’ll be able to go through the kids’ browsing history and see what kinds of websites they’ve been visiting. This also includes any surfing done in “incognito” mode, which is what truly sets these tools apart from regular phone snooping.

The applications used for this job are easy and straightforward to use, and there are lots of them on the market today, with something fit for pretty much everyone’s needs out there. All you need to do if you’ve decided to go down that road is to sit down and compare what’s available.

Kids Will Always Use Their Smartphones

The best part about this kind of tracking is that kids can’t get away from it, even if they’re aware of what you’re doing. A smartphone is pretty much a basic requirement for a social life nowadays at this age, and you’ll have the reassurance of knowing that your children are always communicating through a device that you’re monitoring and have full access to.

Even if they upgraded the operating system or something along those lines, they still wouldn’t be able to get away from your tracking, provided you’re using one of the better tools on the market of course. That way, all you have to do is set things up once and leave the tool running – it will do its job without requiring any further interaction from you, and you won’t have to constantly adapt your methods.

A Preventative Approach

Another good thing about smartphone tracking as a parenting tool is that it allows you to catch problems before they’ve even happened. You’ll know when your kids are up to something that you might want to know about, and you’ll be able to intervene and have a discussion with them before it’s too late. That way, they will hopefully eventually start questioning their actions on their own, without requiring you to constantly hover over their conversations and other activities on their devices.

And that can have long-lasting repercussions that will likely make your relationship much more positive and functional, provided that you are able to do something productive with that situation. Otherwise, you risk seeing a swing in the other direction, with your relationship starting to degrade and eventually becoming less functional as a result of what you’re doing.

It’s Not a Universal Solution

Of course, like many things that technology has given us, this is not a magic wand that will automatically solve all your parenting problems and will relieve you of all your associated responsibilities. It’s just one tool in your arsenal that can allow you to handle your parenting much better and in a more controlled manner, but it should still always be used in combination with other aspects of good parenting.

If you start to rely on tracking too much, you risk getting into a situation where your kids don’t trust you, and on the other hand, you don’t know how to approach any of the problems that come up in your relationship with them in a constructive manner. This has always been a problem for parents with a more distant approach to raising their kids, it’s just that the issue is much more obvious today thanks to technology.

Smartphone tracking is one of the best tools you can deploy to get an adequate overview of your kids’ lives, and it doesn’t have to be intrusive or annoying for either side involved in the activity in order to work properly. Just make sure that you communicate with your kids and explain things to them when the need arises, and the rest comes down to knowing what tools are available to you and making proper use of them.

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