The summer can be a challenging time for working parents. During the school year, kids are safe in class the majority of the day. During summer break, however, many older kids are free to roam. So, how do you keep tabs to ensure their safety?
Parents should start summer break with a conversation to set expectations and specific rules for the home. Discuss who is allowed in the house at what time and establish guidelines for behavior, including creating a list of places your child is allowed to go without contacting you for permission. Make sure they agree to the rules – and the repercussions of breaking those rules – and your kids will be more likely to cooperate. Have this conversation before your kids start a summer routine, so you don’t have to break any bad habits.
Keep an Eye on the House
Home automation may be the best thing that ever happened for working parents. A good home automation system lets you to keep tabs on who’s coming and going from your home while you’re away. You can get text notifications each time doors and windows are opened or closed. You can even login to view live feeds from in-home video cameras. Home automation will also enable you to remotely open doors in the event your child locks himself out during the day.
You rarely see kids without a smartphone in their hands nowadays. Put that technology to work for you. Parental control apps may be too intrusive, but there’s no shame in calling to check in on your child throughout the day. Take advantage of Facetime and other video call features to actually see your child’s surroundings while you talk. Make a rule for them to call you anytime they go somewhere not on your pre-approved list.
Track with GPS
There are added concerns for parents of driving-age teens. That increased freedom comes with additional risks. Several relatively low-cost GPS options allow parents to track the movements of their teen’s vehicle in real time. Some of the more popular versions offer features including push notifications when your teen’s vehicle travels beyond a specified area or when the car is used outside designated times. You can even monitor for unsafe driving behaviors.
Interact with Fellow Parents
Establish a network with your child’s friends’ parents. Invite them all over for a get-together prior to the start of summer and share these tips. Create a parents’ chat group you can easily participate in from work. Email, text or call to confirm with other parents when your child says he and others have plans for the day. Fellow parents are your best allies as you work to protect your children during the summer months, so it’s critical to keep the lines of communication open.
Some might argue that a few of these measures are over the top, but as parents, we do what we must to ensure our children’s safety. There’s nothing more important than protecting our kids – during the summer and throughout the year. If there’s anything Crime Prevention Security Systems can do to assist you in these efforts, please contact us today.