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Giving Your Kids Freedom Using Location-Sharing Apps

Every parent wants to give their kids the freedom to explore and have new experiences. However, it’s only natural for parents to be scared and anxious, making it difficult to leave their little ones alone once they step outside the house. They want to know their kid’s location at all times to ensure they are safe and sound. One of the ways to do this is through location-sharing apps.

But this trick is not for every parent. Truth be told, although they have many benefits, location-sharing apps do have some drawbacks as well, like invasion of privacy of your kids, cyberbullying, etc. Also, if you are more comfortable with giving your children the freedom to head out at a later age, that’s absolutely fine.

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However, it’s a boon for parents who want to curb their anxiety by knowing their kids’ whereabouts in real-time, giving them some peace of mind (let’s be honest, we can never be worry-free when the kiddos are out and about). So, if you are wondering whether or not to use a location-sharing app with your kids, these pointers might help you find your answer.

Perks of location-sharing apps

1. Gives peace of mind to parents

As parents, we are always worried about our kid’s safety. And with the location-sharing app, knowing whether your child has reached school safely or at their friend’s house gives parents a much-needed sense of relief.

2. Makes communication easier

location sharing app
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Location-sharing apps are a two-way street. You make an account and join a “Circle,” choosing to share your location with a selected few. Once you make the account, a person can only see another’s location after accepting an invitation and agreeing to share their location. This makes it convenient for kids and parents to know each other’s location.

For instance, with the app, kids can quickly check their parent’s location (instead of messaging or calling) and know how far they are from the pickup point. Parents can also track kids’ location to check if they have reached their music classes, dance lessons, etc.

3. Helps during emergencies

location sharing app
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In emergencies, location-sharing apps can play a crucial role in helping parents find their little ones. For instance, if your child gets lost in the crowd or forgets their way back home, you can quickly track them and help them navigate (even with network issues). Location-sharing apps provide an extra layer of security for kids and parents alike.

4. Facilitates early independence among kids

Location-sharing apps can help facilitate early independence. Since parents can trace their kids’ movements, they feel more comfortable letting them have new experiences without physical supervision. Even children, especially teens, can explore more while keeping their parents in the loop. It’s a win-win for both.

How to choose the right location-sharing app

location sharing app
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With so many location-sharing apps available, picking the right ones that meet your and your kid’s requirements can get tricky. However, here are a few tips to look out for while selecting the location-sharing app for your family.

  1. Look for apps that promise secure encryption and a well-established privacy feature to protect your child’s information.
  2. Ensure the location-sharing app gives precise and up-to-date (or real-time) location data. This is an essential feature, especially for emergencies.
  3. Consider apps that offer parental control options, panic buttons, and a message/call facility to emergency contacts, if needed.
  4. Choose a location-sharing app with a user-friendly interface so you and your kids can use it easily, making tracking and monitoring hassle-free.
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Having said all this, ensure you have an open conversation with your kiddos about using location-sharing apps. Explain to them why and how this app is helpful for both of you. Answer their queries, if any, to make sure they are entirely on board.

However, draw some ground rules. For instance, you will monitor their location only while they go to school, hobby classes, or outing with friends. Similarly, your children can also track your location only when you are coming to pick them up from school or classes, etc.

The more openly you talk about the idea, the more trust you will develop. After all, no one likes to be monitored all the time. But make your kids understand that desperate time calls for desperate measures. It is completely understandable and excusable if either of you is anxious and tracks the other’s location out of sheer panic.

So, talk to your kids about the app and see how they feel about it. Install the app only if your children are comfortable with the idea of you being a “periscope parent” (parents who choose to forgo physical proximity for indirect digital supervision). However, don’t pressure the kids about the app; it may backfire. Instead, try to make them see the perks of it, as they enjoy more freedom.

What are your thoughts on location-sharing apps? Would you take this route if your munchkins are okay with the idea? Do let us know in the comments section below!

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