Teen Runaways: 10 iPhone Apps for Tracking Your Child’s Whereabouts

fbichild1Parenting teen’s today is a challenge.

Every parent frets over their child’s whereabouts, wondering where they are and what they’re doing when they’re away from home. However, with the technology available on the iPhone, you can now rest easy. There are a number of apps that, when combined, will mean you always know your child’s whereabouts. These 10 apps will help you track everything from how fast your child drives to where he’s hanging out on the Internet and for how long.

  • FBI Child ID – This is every fearful parents must-have app. You can keep a store of detailed information about your child, which is instantly accessible at all times. The information that you store can quickly be forwarded to authorities, should your child go missing. With FBI Child ID, if you even lose sight of your child at the mall, you can show security guards a detailed profile that will help track their whereabouts in no time.  The app has a database of hints and tips on child safety, and is free to download, too.
  • Find My Kids — Footprints – With Find My Kids you can virtually track everything that your kids are up to while they’re out of your line of sight. If they are speeding, the app sends you notifications. When they cross a fence, you’ll know about it. The app is completely automatic, so you don’t have to do a thing. Your kids cannot disable the app, giving you full peace of mind. If you wish to, you can also share waypoints with your partner or trusted friends.
  • Family Tracker – If you are concerned about any of your children’s whereabouts, Family Tracker will let them know. The app costs $3.99 and works by sending a repetitive push message every 60 seconds. Once the message is acknowledged, the location of the child is updated on GPS and sent to your device. You can access Family Tracker from either your Apple device or any browser.
  • Life360 Family Locator – Some of the key features of the free Life360 app include the ability to track non-smartphones, safety point and threat alerts and family chat. If your child has arranged to go to a particular location, the app allows you to track their progress and lets you know when they have arrived.
  • Best Baby Monitor – Use two Apple devices with this $3.99 app to create your very own baby monitor. You can hear, watch and speak to your baby from any location that has WiFi. Best Baby Monitor will work with a combination of iPhone and iPad, or iPhone and Mac. If you already own these devices, this is a great way to save on a baby monitoring device.
  • iCam – Webcam Video Streaming – If you’ve ever wanted to install a home surveillance system but found it to be too expensive, iCam – Webcam Video Streaming is the option for you. It only costs $4.99 for the app and can connect to multiple webcam feeds of your choice. iCam will even send you notifications if you are linked to a motion detecting feed whenever there is a potential alert.
  • Alarm.com – Provided you have compatible systems in your home, Alarm.com will allow you to control security cameras, alarms and alerts; switch off lights, set the temperature, and even tell you when the kids get home from school. There are a number of custom features, too, which allow you to set alerts for important reminders, such as leaving the garage door open, or someone changing the temperature on the thermostat. Best of all, the app is free.
  • Mobicip Safe Browser – This is a free browser with parental controls, which allows you to monitor and control what your child accesses on the Internet. Your child’s data is encrypted the moment they log onto an unsecured connection, helping keep them safe from hackers. The app uses a number of filters to restrict access to undesirable content, all of which you can control.
  • SecuraFone – This free app allows you to set boundaries for where your kids go and how fast they drive. As soon as they breach the rules, you receive an automated call letting you know. SecuraFone uses the built-in GPS in your child’s iPhone, and even sends alerts if the phone becomes inactive. Parents can view up to 90 days of data that help you analyze your child’s habits.
  • Game Time Limit – Another great app for keeping track of your child’s virtual whereabouts, Game Time Limit allows you to dictate how long he spends playing games on the phone. Once the time is up, you don’t have to worry finding him because an alarm appears on the phone that only you can switch off with your passcode. The app costs $0.99, however, it is a great way to keep you from having to constantly chastise your child to finish playing games.

Source:  Babysitting  Jobs

Advertisements

Teens Struggling with Substance Abuse

With summer about here and teens with more free time, parents need to be aware of what today’s latest statistics are with drug use.

Yes, teen substance abuse, according to the latest study, is up 33%. TeenSubstanceAbuse

What does this say to parents of teenagers?

Are the parents too trusting of the teens or are the teens too smart for the parents?

Are you still digesting that?

Let’s understand this.

One in four teens (24 percent) reports having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime (up from 18 percent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2012), which translates to about 5 million teens. That is a 33 percent increase over a five-year period.  -According to Drugfree.org

That is a lot teens using illegal prescription drugs to get high or alter their moods.

Where are they getting these drugs from? 

Parents, grandparents, a friend’s home or simply buying them off the street.   This isn’t  blame game it is time to get a grasp on it and communicate to your kids about the risks of prescription medicine when it is not taken for the reasons it is prescribed for by a doctor.  Sometimes it takes a near death of a friend to make your child wake-up, let’s just hope it is not the end of someone’s life.  The attitude that it can’t happen to me is common, and it is followed by a parent’s denial that their child would use drugs.

Communication and education.

This is a nationwide problem.  Go to www.drugfree.org/medicineabuseproject and educate yourself and your family. Take the Pledge with your family to end medicine abuse, before it’s too late.  Then go to www.stopmedicineabuse.org and educate yourself and your kids about the dangers of over-the-counter medicine (OTC) abuse.  OTC are potentially deadly can be extremely harmful to your teens also.

Have a conversation with your teen, don’t wait for a confrontation.  As the report also stated, parents seems to lack concern about prescription drug use in comparison to getting caught or using such drugs as crack or cocaine or other illegal drugs, as follows:

Almost one in four teens (23 percent) say their parents don’t care as much if they are caught using Rx drugs without a doctor’s prescription, compared to getting caught with illegal drugs. – According to Drugfree.org

 

Drug use (substance abuse) is a serious cry for help, and making your teen feel ashamed or embarrassed can make the problem worse. Some common behavior changes you may notice if your teenager is abusing drugs and alcohol are:

  • Violent outbursts, rage, disrespectful behavior
  • Poor or dropping grades
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Skin abrasions, track marks
  • Missing curfew, running away, truancy
  • Bloodshot eyes, distinct “skunky” odor on clothing and skin
  • Missing jewelry, money
  • New friends
  • Depression, apathy, withdrawal, disengaged from the family
  • Reckless behavior

Tips to help prevent substance abuse:

  1. Communication is the key to prevention.  Whenever an opportunity arises about the risks of drinking and driving or the dangers of using drugs,  take it to start a conversation.  Remember parents, it is important to be a parent first – friendship will come in time.
  2. Have a conversation not a confrontation.  If you suspect your teen is using drugs, talk to them.  Don’t judge them, talk to them about the facts of the dangers of substance abuse.  If your teen isn’t opening up to you, be sure you find an adolescent therapist that can help.
  3. Addict in the family?  Do you have an addict in your family?  Sadly many families have been effected by someone that has allowed drugs to take over their lives.  With this, it is a reminder to your teen that you want them to have bright future filled with happiness.  The last thing you want for them is to end up like ____.
  4. Don’t be a parent in denial.  There is no teenager that is immune to drug abuse.  No matter how smart your teen is, or athletic they are, they are at risk if they start using.  I firmly believe that keeping  your teen constructively busy, whether it is with sports, music or other hobbies they have, you will be less at risk for them to want to experiment.  However don’t be in the dark thinking that your teen is pulling a 4.0 GPA and on the varsity football that they couldn’t be dragged down by peer pressure.  Go back to number one – talk, talk, talk – remind your teen how proud you are of them, and let them know that you are always available if they feel they are being pressured to do or try something they don’t want to.
  5. Do you know what your teen is saying?  Listen or watch on texts or emails for code words for certain drug lingo. Skittling, Tussing, Skittles, Robo-tripping, Red Devils, Velvet, Triple C, C-C-C-, Robotard are some of the names kids use for cough and cold medication abuse.  Weed, Pot, Ganja, Mary Jane, Grass, Chronic, Buds, Blunt, Hootch, Jive stick, Ace, Spliff, Skunk, Smoke, Dubie, Flower, Zig Zag are all slang for marijuana.
  6. 6.     Leftovers.  Are there empty medicine wrappers or bottles, burn marks on their clothes or rug, ashes, stench, etc in their room or if they own a car, in their car? Teens (and tweens) either take several pills or smash them so all of it is released at once.  Be sure to check all pockets, garbage cans, cars, closets, under beds, etc. for empty wrappers and other evidence of drug use.  Where are your prescription drugs?  Have you counted them lately?
  7. Body language. Tune into changes in your teen’s behavior. Changing peer groups, altering their physical appearance and/or lack of hygiene, eating or sleeping patterns changing, hostile and uncooperative attitude (defiance), missing money or other valuables from the home, sneaking out of the house, etc.
  8. 8.     Access to alcohol.  Look around your home, is there liquor that is easily accessible?  Teens admit getting alcohol is easy-and the easiest place to get it is in their home.  Know what you have in the house and if you suspect your teen is drinking, lock it up!  Talk to them about the risks of drinking, especially if they are driving. 
  9. Seal the deal.  Have your teen sign a contract to never drink and drive. Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) www.saddonline.com provides a free online contract to download. It may help them pause just the second they need to not get behind that wheel.
  10. Set the example, be the example.  What many parents don’t realize is that you are the leading role model for your teen.  If your teen sees you smoking or drinking frequently, what is the message you are sending?  Many parents will have a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, however the teen needs to understand you are the adult, and there is a reason that the legal drinking age is 21.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Struggling Teens: When Parents Reach their Wit’s End

Raising teens today can be contentious and get your blood pressure boiling.  The lack of respect towards parents and most authority is very disturbing in today’s society.  I often say the sense of entitlement issue can be a large cause of today’s defiant teens.  Either way, parents are struggling with kids that are literally holding parents hostage in their own homes.

Here is a great guest post by Barbara Williams:

Working as a nanny can be a rewarding and fulfilling job for people who love children. However, getting along with the parents can sometimes be a challenge. The important thing to remember is, no matter how much you love the children, the parents are the boss. You need to make sure they are happy with your work because the parents are ones signing your paychecks. It might not always be obvious that you’re doing something to displease them, so here are 10 signs a parent is upset with you.

  1. Not speaking – Some parents aren’t good at communicating their displeasure so they’ll give you the silent treatment. Instead of a light banter at the end of the day they’ll only answer direct questions with short terse statements. If this starts happening you better find out if you did something wrong or if they’re just having a bad day.
  2. Exasperated sighs – Another unspoken sign a parent is upset with you is the exasperated sigh. Nannies who hear this better be on their toes. You should probably find out what the parent is unhappy about.
  3. Facial expressions – It’s important for nannies to be able to read the parent’s facial expressions. A furrowed brow or tenseness around the mouth could be a sign you did something wrong.
  4. Schedule a talk – When parents tell you they want to schedule a little talk, you may be in trouble. They may say something about having to go over a few things or the need to reevaluate your duties. Uh-oh!
  5. Send you home early – Another sign you made them unhappy is when they send you home early for no apparent reason. This could mean they are so upset they don’t even want to have you around.
  6. Day off for no reason – Getting an unscheduled day off could seem like a good thing at first, but you might want to beware. This could mean the parents are reevaluating your position. They may even be scheduling interviews with other potential nannies.
  7. Unreasonable demands – Some parents will do just the opposite and start making unreasonable demands when they’re upset with you. This could be their way of punishing you for whatever misdeeds you’ve done.
  8. Exaggerated niceness – Some parents will express their displeasure by treating you with exaggerated niceness. This forced and fake kindness that is dripping with sarcasm is a clear sign they’re upset.
  9. Kids tell you – Of course kids don’t have filters on their expressions like adults do, so they are more likely to tell you when their parents are upset and why. Nannies can often rely on the children to let something slip if there’s a problem the parents won’t tell them about.
  10. They tell you – Of course the best way to find out a parent is upset with you is for them to tell you. It’s much better for them to let you know right away if you’re doing something they don’t like so you can rectify the situation.

Everyone handles conflict differently and some people are very uncomfortable with confrontations. They’ll do anything to avoid unpleasantness. The best thing to do is have good communication between both the parents and the nannies. It’s not good to let problems fester when they can re resolved quickly and amicably. Nannies should watch for these signs that the parents are upset and work hard to resolve the situation.

Source:  Find a Babysitter

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Tough love and getting your teen the help they need – unconditionally

Tough love, when you reach your wit's end and want to give up, but you can't. It is your child and we never give up on our child.

Many cannot understand or grasp the concept of, Tough love or “not enabling” the child to ruin or run the family unit. Enduring life with a teen that is running the home can result in many uproars, conflicts, arguments, battles, and sometimes psychical and verbal abuse.  Tough love is exactly that: Tough.  Loving our children is unconditional, but we don’t have to like what they are doing or how they are destroying their lives.

There will come a time when a parent realizes enough is enough! This is the time that they need the support from outside sources, such as a Tough Love support groups (if you can find them and if you believe in their philosophy), along with professional intervention. This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family, it is the child that is making the bad choices and the family is suffering from it.
Many times tough love is simply letting go. Let the child make their mistakes and they will either learn from them or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately depending on the situation, it is not always feasible to wait until the last minute to intervene.  If you see that Tough love is not working at home, it may be time to consider residential placement (placement outside the home).
Quality Residential placements work with the entire family. Once the child is safely removed from the family, everyone is able to concentrate on the issues calmly and rationally. Tough love can mean finding the most appropriate setting outside of the home for your child.
While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or problems. With time and distance, the healing starts to occur. Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, however in many families, very necessary and very rewarding.
Tough love if used correctly can be helpful.  However if you are the type to give in at the end, all the hard work of standing your ground will be for nothing.  Actually, your weakness or giving in could result in deeper and more serious problems.  Please confer with professionals or outside help if you feel you are not able to follow through with what you are telling your child you will do.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, you are certainly not alone.
Learn more about quality residential therapy at www.helpyourteens.com.

Ecstasy and your teen: A deadly combination

Does it start with marijuana? Advance to pills? On to needles?

There can be so many different paths your teen can take to the road to addiction, but the one path they need to realize is they don’t need to start to begin with.  Understanding the risks and dangers is the beginning of teaching prevention.

October 31st through November 6th is National Drug Facts Week.

This is an opportunity to shatter the myths about drug and substance abuse as well as become an educated parent and build a stronger drug-free community.

What is ecstasy?

“Ecstasy” is a slang term for MDMA, short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a name that’s nearly as long as the all-night parties where MDMA is often used. That’s why MDMA has been called a “club drug.” It has effects similar to those of other stimulants, and it often makes the person feel like everyone is his or her friend, even when that’s not the case.

MDMA is man-made—it doesn’t come from a plant like marijuana does. Other chemicals or substances—such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine—are sometimes added to, or substituted for, MDMA in Ecstasy tablets. Makers of MDMA can add anything they want to the drug, so its purity is always in question.

What Are the Common Street Names?

There are a lot of slang words for MDMA. “Ecstasy” is one of the most common. You might also hear “E,” “XTC,” “X,” “Adam,” “hug,” “beans,” “clarity,” “lover’s speed,” and “love drug.”

How Is It Used?

Most people who abuse MDMA take a pill, tablet, or capsule. These pills can be different colors, and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Some people take more than one pill at a time, called “bumping.”

How Many Teens Use It?

According to a 2010 NIDA-funded study, over the past 10 years smart young teens have turned their backs on MDMA. Since 2001, the percentage of 8th graders who have ever tried MDMA dropped from 5.2 percent in 2001 to 3.3 percent in 2010. The drop among 10th graders and 12th graders was similar. However, between 2009 and 2010, some increases were seen in the abuse of MDMA by 8th and 10th graders. For example, past-year use of MDMA increased among 10th graders from 3.7 percent in 2009 to 4.7 percent in 2010. Also, fewer 10th graders saw “great risk” in occasionally using MDMA, which means that they may not understand the health risks of using MDMA as well as they should.

Is MDMA Addictive?

Like other drugs, MDMA can be addictive for some people. That is, people continue to take the drug despite experiencing unpleasant physical side effects and other social, behavioral, and health consequences.

No one knows how many times a person can use a drug before becoming addicted or who’s most vulnerable to addiction. A person’s genes, living environment, and other factors play a role in whether they are likely to become addicted to MDMA.

Learn more – click here.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Teen Drug Use: Do you know who is giving your teen drugs?

‘I got my hair from my mom.’

‘I got my eyes from my dad.’

‘And my drugs from my grandma’s medicine cabinet.’

More than 3.1 million teens ages 12 to 17 report abusing prescription drugs. Click here for guidelines for prescription drug abuse prevention and discuss them with your family and friends.

The target audience for Lock Your Meds™ is 20-80-year-old adults, with the primary focus on keeping prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals away from drug abusers.  Many adults may be unwitting suppliers and by making adults aware of the problem we can curb the abuse by others.

YOU HOLD THE KEY TO YOUR CHILD’S DRUG-FREE FUTURE

Review the following guidelines for prescription drug abuse prevention and discuss them with family & friends.

LOCK YOUR MEDS
Prevent your children from abusing your own medication by securing your meds in places your child cannot access.

TAKE INVENTORY
Download your Home Medicine Inventory Card, write down the name and amount of medications you currently have and regularly check to see that nothing is missing.

EDUCATE YOURSELF & YOUR CHILD
Learn about the most commonly abused types of prescription medications (pain relievers, sedatives, stimulants and tranquilizers). Then, communicate the dangers to your child regularly; once is not enough.

SET CLEAR RULES & MONITOR BEHAVIOR
Express your disapproval of using prescription drugs without a prescription. Monitor your child’s behavior to ensure that the rules are being followed.

PASS IT ON
Share your knowledge, experience and support with the parents of your child’s friends. Together, you can create a tipping point for change and raise safe, healthy and drug-free children.

Source: Informed Families of South Florida

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs? Have you exhausted all your local resources? Take the time to learn about residential therapy, visit www.HelpYourTeens.com. Each teen and family are unique, there are many teen help programs, knowing how to locate the one best for you can be a challenge, however Parents’ Universal Resource Experts in Broward County, can help, starting with a free consultation.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Wilderness Programs: Short Term Programs – Short Term Results

What is a “Wilderness Program?”  If you are a parent that is struggling with a teenager that is out-of-control, you will surf the Internet and attempt to find help.  Many parents first think of boot camps as a resolution – a way to teach our teen a lesson.  Then you realize that maybe that is not the best avenue and you are somehow directed to wilderness programs.  Not always, but especially if you have hired an Educational Consultant, their first recommendation is commonly Wilderness programs.

There are many very good Wilderness Programs in our country, however the question remains, are they necessary or should you go directly to where most teens eventually end up:  Residential Therapy program.

Wilderness programs are mainly designed to break a teen down.  Although they are not punitive, in comparison to a boot camp, they are primitive, forcing your teen to appreciate the luxuries he had at home.

However, a residential therapy program can do the same thing, since many are not designed by Hilton (TM).  Have you also thought about this:  Your teen is already broken down, why do we need to continue to break him/her down?

Let’s look at the pro’s and cons. 

  • Wilderness programs can cost you up to $500.00 a day. Yes, a day.  Some start as little as $250.00 a day (Yes, as little as).  Now multiply that by 30 days or actually 6 weeks, since the average stay in Wilderness is 6-9 weeks.  At the low end: A month in the mountains will cost you $7500.00.  That is questionable to many, as well as out of the financial means of many more.
  • Wilderness program rarely have academics.  Fact is your teen is probably not focused on academics and could care less about them.  Working on their emotional stability is the goal here, however it shouldn’t be an excuse to delay education.  Although your child may not care about their education, you do.
  • Wilderness programs are short term.  Short term program, short term results and a lot of money.  In most cases they go on to residential programs which will run you about another $5000.00 a month and up for another 10-12 months.  Wouldn’t it make sense to start and finish at the same place with the same therapist and the consistency of recovery?
  • Wilderness programs are sadly where we hear of the most deaths or accidents in teen help programs.  It is true, accidents can happen in any program, however when listening to speakers in congress while attempting to pass a bill to stop abuse in residential programs, it seemed the parents that lost a child in a program were mainly in Wilderness programs.

Some positives:

  • If your teen has not escalated to a point of serious concern, and is just starting to make some poor choices, maybe a 6-9 week wake-up call is all that is needed.  As long as you can afford it, and remember, if they decide he/she needs more than the 6-9 weeks, you need to be prepared to go the next step.
  • The teen is removed from their home environment.  They are put in a place of isolation and maybe this is just what they need to reflect on their current negative behavior.
  • There are some excellent Wilderness programs with very good and caring staff in our country.  Many teens that had a wilderness experience really feel it was very good.  Many parents also believe that the Wilderness program helped their child get ready for the next step, residential therapy.
  • Wilderness programs offer a great opportunity for your teen to live outdoors and experience outdoor therapy.  With some teens this is very beneficial.

This is a personal decision, and although I am not an advocate of Wilderness programs I can appreciate and respect parents that believe they need this extra step and it has worked for them.  It is my philosohy that starting and finishing at the program is part of the consistency of healing.  Having to switch programs and therapists (especially) and starting over, can feel like you have fallen back to ground zero. However, each family is different with different needs, so this is an individual decision.

Is Wilderness right for your teen?  Only you can answer that.

Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com for more information.