Tracking your Teens Location or Monitoring their Social Media Accounts have Always been a Heated Debate

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Category: Adolescence
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If you were to ask a group of parents what they think about it, plenty of them hesitate at it and they others would ask why any loving parent wouldn’t do it. The ability to locate your teenagers when they leave to go out with friends or monitoring everything they do on social media is tempting to most, but does it damage the relationship between parent and teens? Does it question the trust and the rights to privacy and their autonomy?

So, what are the impacts of tracking teens? Tracking your teens cause them to feel untrustworthy and irresponsible and it causes immediately an adversarial relationship.

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It gives the message “I don’t trust you at all.” Is over involvement the best path in raising teens, isn’t part of being a teen making mistakes and learning from their mistakes. If your children feel that parents are always watching and will always fix things when they do make mistakes may cause them to develop a lack of confidence and increased anxiety. Parents want to use all this new technology we must keep their kids as safe as possible but doing this may defeating the purpose later in life. Isn’t the best way to make your children feel safe is to give them the skills and knowledge to take care of themselves by themselves.

There are many types of technology that parents can use toady from tracking their child’s every move on GPS to monitoring all their online activities. Although it became natural part of everyday family, or in school, there is a potential element of peer pressure. If others are doing it do I have to do it. Why should I not? What will other parents think if I choose to refrain from using this technology. A parent’s goal is to be sure each teen stays safe, make responsible decisions, and respects others. But the influence of peers, the temptation of freedom, access to alcohol and other drugs, and unsupervised activities cause parents to fear that their teen may ill-equipped to negotiate the complicated world .

Technology is giving so many new ways for parents to monitor their kids, its has become hard to distinguish right from wrong. When your children are young we place them in daycare centers and schools to help take part of the responsibility. So, this helps parents in feeling as if their child is safe still while teaching to be away from them. If safety were our only goal as parents, we should not allow children to climb trees, to explore the woods, to use scissors etc. For teens to become independent grownups, children need to learn the skills to do that without constant supervision.

When daycare and school staff use GPS, the question may be even more difficult because potential double delegation: parents delegate responsibility to staff who possibly delegate responsibility to technology. Imagine a preschool class that is out walking in the woods, exploring nature. One child gets lost and the technology is defect. Who is responsible for that child? Who should have protected her and who failed the teacher, the GPS device or the company developing the technology? These are the questions parents need to think about when raising your kids. If the children are taught what to do in case of emergency or if get in a bad situation, isn’t that the best way to insure your kids are safe? Some parents will make decisions based on unfounded concerns about peers, memories of their own turbulent years, or day to day family stress. Whatever the level of monitoring, this has impact on teens, their independence, and the relationship with their parents.

It’s Friday night and your trying to level headed as your teen attempts to test the rules. You want to know where she is going and whom she’ll be with. She wants to slink out the door. The more you ask the less she shares. You don’t want to rob her of her independent still, you need to know (Chang, 2010 p68). All teens think they need their parents less and less, but research shows that parents keep tabs on them are less likely to put themselves in a bad situation.

Building trust with your teen is the best solution but getting your teen to voluntarily share about their friends, activities or where they are going is not an easy task. So how do you find a happy middle with both the parent and teen are comfortable with? The key is give and take between parents and teens, when kids are given room to explain their reasoning and negotiate, a climate of trust is possible. Kids are than more apt to open and share (Chang, 2010 p68). You need to set clear and consistent rules about where they will be, what time they are expected to return home, sex and alcohol use. They need to understand the consequences of not following the rules you have a set so there will be not misunderstanding of what the punishment will be for not following the rules that you have set together. In todays society its so hard to figure out when to ask more questions and when to let your teen come to you when their ready.

So, the parents job today is to try to stay constantly involved and keeping an open communication with your kids as possible. Make sure your eating meals together as to give, there is something about eating together that breeds openness and comfortable environment for your teens to share. Model the expected behavior in which you want them to do and by seeing you behave the same way as you expect them can make your teen more willing to follow by example. Instill quality standards, you may not see these in your teens right now but somewhere down the road you will want your teen to make the right decision for themselves when given the opportunity. But be realistic about what your child is likely to share with you. There are certain topics teenagers feel comfortable talking about with their parents, then what they’re going to share with their best friend (Chang, 2010 p 69).

Growing 40 years ago, the only way your parents were able to track you as a teenager was with old fashion detective work and just trusting what your teens were telling you and hopes that they stay safe and make good decisions for themselves. Today it is a whole new world for parents and tracking them online or location. We can use smartphones, GPS watches, Bluetooth wristbands and even tiny gadgets that go into their pockets or book bags. But what are the cost of all this new age equipment. Some schools have started using Identification badges for students that let the administration keep tabs on student constantly while on school campus. It could be a wonderful asset, but the other side is the actual of cost of this equipment and chances that their system can’t be hacked and letting strangers have access to all those students.

Nothing is ever full proof no matter what they say. In California a head start program at the George Miller DI Center used federal stimulus money to buy tags for preschool students, drawing national attention and outrage. The biggest benefit of schools using these so far is being able to check on the where about constantly of any student on their campus at any given time of the school day. Some schools feel as if the technology easily pays for itself within three years. But some students feel likes someone’s watching them always gives them an uneasy feeling. There are wearable trackers for your kids, it’s a two-way voice function that lets you speak to your child at anytime without even having to press any buttons at all, you can track their routes for $99 for the device and $30 a month. Is that price worth it or possible safety risk? All too much we see a well-intended idea implemented and a year or two later it not having the best results as with we were hoping for or intended.

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Tracking your teens location or monitoring their social media accounts have always been a heated debate. (2021, Oct 16). Retrieved from