There are lots of products on the market right now that “secretly” monitor your kids, like GPS-tracking their cars or logging their keystrokes on the computer without their knowledge. If you prefer to have a more open and communicative relationship while still allowing them their independence, check out the newly-launched I’mOK app.
This app encourages kids to check in with their parents and turns it into a game, with sweet rewards.
Once you have an account established, you create a network of trusted individuals and then your kids are free to check in to the app for points. The more information they include the more points they can earn — and it saves you from having to ask, where are you going? Who are you going with? When will you be home?
When a certain level is reached (that you have determined), they can win a reward like staying out later one night with friends, video games or whatever it is that would serve as motivation.
If you have a trusting relationship with your kids, the app could just be a complement to information you already know about their whereabouts. Parenting the teen years, I’m sure, has its fair share of challenges, so it’s nice to make one part of it a game — not 20 questions. –Jeana
I’mOK is available for free on iTunes. Consider it for Halloween if you’ve got first-time solo trick-or-treaters.