Who’s watching the teenagers?

August 20, 2009 Uncategorized 11

Yesterday I received a flyer in the mail from AT&T. It is introducing a new service to our cell phone plan. Available now is a service named”AT&T Family Map”. What this does is use your cell phone to pinpoint your location, using GPS technology or cell towers depending on your cell phone’s capabilities. This for only $9.99 a month for up to 2 phones, more for more phones.
I’m not sure what think about this. Certainly shades of Big Brother come to mind, but since I’m a parent of teens I also understand the desire to know where my child is.
My husband immediatly said, “it’s first 30 days free, sign us up”, but then we talked about it and we are waiting a bit to really discuss the implications.
Do I trust my daughters? Before I answer that let’s think about how this service is to be beneficial. Certainly the plan is advertised for it’s safety and peace of mind selling points, but we all know that some parents are more hovering and nosey than I am and want to know every single move of their teen thinking it will prevent any negative or unacceptable behavior from said teen. My daughters have just aquired their drivers licenses in the last week, so now they are not just being dropped by me or being picked up by friends, they are leaving our house, with a set destination in mind and sending a text or calling upon arrival. In theory, I trust my daughters, but I’m honest and realistic, they will make poor choices at some point, I know this because it’s human nature as a teen and because I did it too.
Did you ever tell your parents you were going one place and went somewhere else? Sometimes it was innocent, sometimes it was not……….but in 1976 or so there were no cell phones, my folks would have found it difficult to tail me every minute, etc.
Welcome to 2009, where we have cell phones and GPS and devices we can put in cars to tell us the speed driven, the volume of the radio etc. Have we come to far? Are we too controlling?

I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know what our plans for the Family Map service are, I’m still thinking.

11 Responses to “Who’s watching the teenagers?”

  1. sheila

    Yes, that’s an interesting service. I feel the same as you. Trust is so important, but the stupidity is always there. I’m thinking unless you have something to worry about starting off, you won’t need the service. And it sounds like you’ll be saving that extra dough. 🙂

  2. Crazy Mom of Three

    Well, on one hand it is like taking helicopter parenting to an extreme. On the other hand, you get to keep your nose in their lives. I am thinking, only do it if you begin to notice a reason you need to follow them that closely …. like if you begin to suspect troublesome behavior (?) Just my thoughts …. I love the idea of that for younger kids though (latch-key kids, etc.)

  3. Pam

    This is a tough one. I like the idea of using it only if you think have a reason to be worried. My problem would be remembering to check it. Or, just the opposite, checking it obsessively. I’ll be interested to learn what you do and how you come to the decision.

  4. Tammy Howard

    Like Pam, I’m interested to hear what you decide to do and how it works out if you do decide to use it. Sometimes I think I am too controlling – it tempts me. My youngest is very trustworthy, but my eldest is kind of a flake… I would take a lot of comfort in it. But when does it end? Do I continue to tail her at college? At her first job? At what point must the apron strings be cut? Like you, I have no answers, only questions – but isn’t it nice that we have friends to pose our questions to?

  5. Sandy

    I think it’s a great idea to be used should you need to know where they are and can’t get an answer to a call. But would it only be used for that? I think it’s overkill for the average kid/family but maybe for some….

  6. Beth

    I would feel real uncomfortable with this, but I can’t put my finger on why! As you know…I don’t have a Facebook page…and the reason being is I told my dds that I wouldn’t invade on their privacy at that level…but remember my dds were well into their teens when it became a big deal. Yes they have made bad choices, but we are very open and I eventually hear about them…or have helped them out of the bad choices…I guess I wouldn’t find a need…unless bad behavior was happening over and over..ackkk I don’t know…

  7. My name is PJ.

    My experience has taught me that, had the technology been available a decade ago…I would’ve signed up in a heart beat. And I’m not even talking about my experience with my own kids – I’m remembering what inventive things my peers and I did.

    In my book, a parent’s job is to keep a kid safe (in addition to all the other stuff) and not to be a friend.

    Better to be safe than sorry. It takes only one bad decision on the part of the teen…only one.

    Sign up! Sign up! Sign up!

  8. Miss Healthypants

    Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about this, either. Let us know what you decide to do! 🙂 (Again, parenting advice is always good for a future prospective parent like me. *smiles*)

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