America After 3 PM: Working Families and After School

It’s a common scene at neighborhoods across the country: the school bell rings and kids scatter to after school sports, after school jobs, or after school hours hanging out with their friends. In today’s world, many parents work, and aren’t able to see their kids until later in the evening.  Technology has evolved to help parents manage that after-school time, letting them stay in touch with their children during those busy hours. A quick call, or some texts are common, but other, more sophisticated tools have emerged.   GPS technology incorporated into wireless phones enables services like Family Locator, which sends a message to a parent’s phone or computer letting them know where their child is, or if the child’s phone has left a designated area. This capability is useful and important as kids move from place to place – from practice to study group to dance class, all before it’s time to be picked up for dinner.  And, parents can make sure kids focus on those activities – especially homework – with Usage Controls. Usage Controls lets parents set specific times of the day where calls and messages won’t go through, and to set limits on data usage so web surfing or game downloading is managed. This simple tool to manage the wireless experience might make the difference in getting the paper done or getting an A on the next day’s quiz.  Dozens of other apps address these needs, too, so afterschool time doesn’t have to create drama for parents. Companies like Verizon also offer tips and advice from experts about how to use this technology wisely and so it benefits kids.