Tech Talk

How to track my child

Our youngest son gets his driver’s license this fall. This creates freedom for us both, but new expectations and rules will be set to ensure his safety and our sanity. Now that monitoring our children is the new norm, I decided to do a little research on tracking.

➧ “Son, this will reduce your insurance costs.” The car insurance companies offer discounts now if you put devices in your car to monitor driving habits. These devices look at speed, hard braking and number of miles driven. Progressive SnapShot, AllState Drivewise, and AAA Onboard are just a few. Companies such as AAA offer additional online training courses for additional discounts.

“This app allows you to track me, too.” Some of the GPS tracking apps are positioned as family apps. You can set up the phones to send alerts when you and your child leave your house, school or work. Life360 and MamaBear are some of the popular ones in my mom circle. Both track when kids are in a car that is speeding, and Life360 is working on a Driver Protect option that will provide crash detection.

“All the kids have smartwatches. Don’t you want one too?” Many of the smartwatches available today give parents the ability to track their child’s location. Apple Watch, GoGo and Tmart all have watches that provide the ability to track a child’s whereabouts, and he gets the benefit of having the latest tech gadget.

Knowing where your child is at all times seems to make sense today. Having grown up without cell phones and never checking in with my parents unless I was going to miss curfew, tracking my child gives me pause. At what point should I trust my child to do what is right and give him privacy to make his own decisions? Maybe I will just stick to him texting me when he goes somewhere and checking in periodically when he is off fishing all day.

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Solid, an app that lets you store, own and share your data

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Venmo, a free digital wallet to pay a friend back for covering you when you are short of cash

Sheila Burkett is an information technology expert and co-founder of Spry Digital, an interactive design agency that delivers smart digital solutions. Catch her weekly Spry Hive at