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Should Your Parents Track Your Phone?

You want independence. Your parents want you to be safe. Tech companies offer an answer to this dilemma: apps that let your parents track your location. Are these apps the solution to fights over freedom, or do they create distrust?

YES: Tracking apps can help you build trust with your parents. 

Brodie: Does the very idea of your parents monitoring your every move on their phone or smartwatch make you feel claustrophobic? I get that. But think about it this way: Tracking apps can give you freedom without having to sacrifice your safety.

Tracking apps are like training wheels. They keep you safe while you’re finding your balance. Being a teen is a time of finding the balance between independence and reliance on your parents. Each time your parents see that you are where you said you were going to be, their trust in you will grow. At the same time, if you do get into a jam, they’ll be able to help. Once your parents are comfortable with your ability to make good decisions, the training wheels can come off, and you’ll be ready to ride safely and confidently on your own.

NO: Teens need to be responsible for themselves.

Oriana: Being a teenager means establishing independence from your parents. Not only should we be doing our laundry and waking ourselves up in the morning, we should also be taking responsibility for our own safety. If we always know our parents are watching us through apps, we’ll never learn how to be responsible for ourselves.

Additionally, tracking apps aren’t a foolproof way of keeping teens safe. Teens can turn off their phones or “accidentally” leave them at a friend’s house to avoid being tracked. The only way parents  can fully trust that their kids are where they say they will be is by having honest conversations about safety and boundaries.

Only when teens have the freedom to make good decisions without being monitored can parents truly trust that their kids are responsible and mature.

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